Here we report the cDNA-deduced amino-acid sequence of L-amino-acid oxidase (LAAO) from the Malayan pit viper Calloselasma rhodostoma, which shows 83% identity to LAAOs from the Eastern and Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus and Crotalus atrox, respectively). Phylogenetic comparison of the FAD-dependent ophidian LAAOs to FAD-dependent oxidases such as monoamine oxidases, D-amino-acid oxidases and tryptophan 2-monooxygenases reveals only distant relationships. Nevertheless, all LAAOs share a highly conserved dinucleotide-binding fold with monoamine oxidases, tryptophan 2-monooxygenases and various other proteins that also may have a requirement for FAD. In order to characterize Ca. rhodostoma LAAO biochemically, the enzyme was purified from snake venom to apparent homogeneity. It was found that the enzyme undergoes inactivation by either freezing or increasing the pH to above neutrality. Both inactivation processes are fully reversible and are associated with changes in the UV/visible range of the flavin absorbance spectrum. In addition, the spectral characteristics of the freeze-and pH-induced inactivated enzyme are the same, indicating that the flavin environments are similar in the two inactive conformational forms. Monovalent anions, such as Cl(-), prevent pH-induced inactivation. LAAO exhibits typical flavoprotein oxidase properties, such as thermodynamic stabilization of the red flavin semiquinone radical and formation of a sulfite adduct. The latter complex as well as the complex with the competitive substrate inhibitor, anthranilate, were only formed with the active form of the enzyme indicating diminished accessibility of the flavin binding site in the inactive form(s) of the enzyme.