The homing endonuclease PI-SceI from Saccharo myces cerevisiae consists of two domains. The protein splicing domain I catalyzes the excision of the mature endonuclease (intein) from a precursor protein and the religation of the flanking amino acid sequences (exteins) to a functional protein. Furthermore, domain I is involved in binding and recognition of the specific DNA substrate. Domain II of PI-SceI, the endonuclease domain, which is structurally homologous to other homing endonucleases from the LAGLIDADG family, harbors the endonucleolytic center of PI-SceI, which in vivo initiates the homing process by introducing a double-strand cut in the approximately 35 bp recognition sequence. At 1.35 A resolution, the crystal structure of PI-SceI domain I provides a detailed view of the part of the protein that is responsible for tight and specific DNA binding. A geometry-based docking of the 75 degrees bent recognition sequence to the full-length protein implies a conformational change or hinge movement of a subdomain of domain I, the tongs part, that is predicted to reach into the major groove near base pairs +16 to +18.