A cDNA clone (SSC801) putatively encoding sepiapterin reductase (SR) was obtained from the expressed sequence tag clones of Dictyostelium discoideum. The cDNA sequence of 878 nucleotides constituted an ORF of 265 amino acid residues but was missing a few N-terminal residues. The deduced amino acid sequence showed 29.8% identity with mouse SR sequence and a molecular mass of 29,969 Da. The coding sequence was cloned in E. coli expression vector and overexpressed. The purified His-tag recombinant enzyme was confirmed to have the genuine activity of SR to produce tetrahydrobiopterin from 6-pyruvoyltetrahydropterin in a coupled assay with 6-pyruvoyltetrahydropterin synthase as well as dihydrobiopterin from sepiapterin. However, dictyopterin was not observed in our assay condition. The enzyme was also inhibited by N-acetylserotonin and to a lesser extent by melatonin. Km values for NADPH and sepiapterin were 51.8+/-2.7 microM and 40+/-2 microM, respectively. Vmax was determined as 0.14 micromol/min/mg of protein.