The human and animal fatty acid synthases are dimers of two identical multifunctional proteins (M(r) 272,000) arranged in an antiparallel configuration. This arrangement generates two active centers for fatty acid synthesis separated by interdomain (ID) regions and predicts that two appropriate halves of the monomer should be able to reconstitute an active fatty acid synthesizing center. This prediction was confirmed by the reconstitution of the synthase active center by using two heterologously expressed halves of the monomer protein. Each of these recombinant halves of synthase monomer contains half of the ID regions. We show here that the fatty acid synthase activity could not be reconstituted when the ID sequences present in the two recombinant halves are deleted, suggesting that these ID sequences are essential for fatty acid synthase dimer formation. Further, we confirm that the ID sequences are the only regions of fatty acid synthase monomers that showed significant dimer formation, by using the yeast two-hybrid system. These results are consistent with the proposal that the ID region, which has no known catalytic activity, associates readily and holds together the two dynamic active centers of the fatty acid synthase dimer, therefore playing an important role in the architecture of catalytically active fatty acid synthase.