Arginine deiminase (ADI), isolated from Mycoplasma cell extracts, has been suggested to inhibit endothelial cell growth in vitro. However, anti-angiogenic activity by ADI has not yet been demonstrated. In this study, we investigated the in vitro effect of recombinant ADI (rADI) on the growth, migration, and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVE) cells. Mycoplasma arginine deiminase was cloned by PCR and the rADI was expressed in Escherichia coli. and purified to near homogeneity. The purified recombinant protein was found to have characteristics similar to those of the native enzyme: molecular weight (48 kDa) and specific enzymatic activity of converting L-arginine into citrulline (32.7 U/mg). This recombinant enzyme also exhibited an inhibitory effect on the growth of HUVE cells. The anti-angiogenic activity was demonstrated by in vitro inhibition of migration into the scratch wounded area in HUVE cell monolayers and the inhibition of microvessel tube-like formation of HUVE cells on Matrigel-coated surfaces. These results suggest that arginine deiminase is a potential inhibitor for angiogenesis, and that arginine concentrations may play an important role in regulating neovascularization.