The reaction leading to the flavinylation of apo-6-hydroxy-D-nicotine oxidase was investigated in cell-free extracts of Eschericia coli carrying the 6-hydroxy-D-nicotine oxidase (6-HDNO) gene on the expression plasmid pDB222. It was demonstrated that the reaction required phosphoenolpyruvate (P-pyruvate) in addition to FAD. When [32P]P-pyruvate or [14C]P-pyruvate were used in the reaction with apo-6-HDNO, no phosphorylated or pyruvylated apo-protein could be detected, however. In order to drive the reaction to completion, FAD and P-pyruvate had to be present simultaneously in the reaction mixture. When apo-6-HDNO, highly purified by affinity chromatography, was used in the reaction with P-pyruvate and FAD, no additional protein fraction was required. A possible reaction scheme for the formation of holoenzyme from 6-HDNO is discussed.