Mips (macrophage infectivity potentiators) are a subset of immunophilins associated with virulence in a range of micro-organisms. These proteins possess peptidylprolyl isomerase activity and are inhibited by drugs including rapamycin and tacrolimus. We determined the structure of the Mip homologue [BpML1 (Burkholderia pseudomallei Mip-like protein 1)] from the human pathogen and biowarfare threat B. pseudomallei by NMR and X-ray crystallography. The crystal structure suggests that key catalytic residues in the BpML1 active site have unexpected conformational flexibility consistent with a role in catalysis. The structure further revealed BpML1 binding to a helical peptide, in a manner resembling the physiological interaction of human TGFßRI (transforming growth factor ß receptor I) with the human immunophilin FKBP12 (FK506-binding protein 12). Furthermore, the structure of BpML1 bound to the class inhibitor cycloheximide N-ethylethanoate showed that this inhibitor mimics such a helical peptide, in contrast with the extended prolyl-peptide mimicking shown by inhibitors such as tacrolimus. We suggest that Mips, and potentially other bacterial immunophilins, participate in protein-protein interactions in addition to their peptidylprolyl isomerase activity, and that some roles of Mip proteins in virulence are independent of their peptidylprolyl isomerase activity. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 Biochemical Society.