The present work describes cloning, expression, purification, characterization, and mutation of Plasmodium falciparum guanylate kinase (PlasmoDB ID PFI1420w). Amino-acid sequence alignment revealed important differences especially in K42-V51, Y73-A77, and F100-L110, which include residues important for kinase activity, and at helix 3, which is important for domain movements. The catalytic efficiency for dGMP was 22-fold lower than that for GMP, whose value is the lowest among known guanylate kinases. dGMP was found to a competitive inhibitor for GMP with K(i)=0.148 mM and a mixed-type inhibitor with regard to ATP with measured K(i)=0.4 mM. The specificity constant (K(cat)/K(m)) of the four examined mutants varied for natural substrate GMP/dGMP, indicating the involvement of different mechanisms in substrate recognition and subsequent loop-domain movement. These results show that P. falciparum guanylate kinase is structurally and biochemically distinct from other guanylate kinases and could be a possible target in drug development.