The cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase (CGTase, EC 22.214.171.124) gene from Bacillus circulans strain 251 was cloned and sequenced. It was found to code for a mature protein of 686 amino acid residues, showing 75% identity to the CGTase from B. circulans strain 8. The X-ray structure of the CGTase was elucidated in a maltodextrin-dependent crystal form and refined against X-ray diffraction data to 2.0 A resolution. The structure of the enzyme is nearly identical to the CGTase from B. circulans strain 8. Three maltose binding sites are observed at the protein surface, two in domain E and one in domain C. The maltose-dependence of CGTase crystallization can be ascribed to the proximity of two of the maltose binding sites to intermolecular crystal contacts. The maltose molecules bound in the E domain interact with several residues implicated in a raw starch binding motif conserved among a diverse group of starch converting enzymes.