Adenosine deaminase is involved in purine metabolism and is a key enzyme for the control of the cellular levels of adenosine. Adenosine deaminase activity showed significant changes during embryogenesis of the camel tick Hyalomma dromedarii. From the elution profile of chromatography on DEAE-sepharose, three forms of enzyme (ADAI, ADAII and ADAIII) were separated. ADAII was purified to homogeneity after chromatography on Sephacryl S-200. The molecular mass of adenosine deaminase ADAII was 42 kDa for the native enzyme and represented a monomer of 42 kDa by SDS-PAGE. The enzyme had a pH optimum at 7.5 and temperature optimum at 40 degrees C with heat stability up to 40 degrees C. ADAII had a K (m) of 0.5 mM adenosine with higher affinity toward deoxyadenosine and adenosine than other purines. Ni(2+), Ba(2+), Zn(2+), Li(2+), Hg(2+) and Mg(2+) partially inhibited the ADAII. Mg(2+) was the strongest inhibitor by 91% of the enzyme's activity.