Porphyromonas gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) catalyzes the deimination of peptidylarginine residues of various peptides to produce peptidylcitrulline and ammonia. P. gingivalis is associated with adult-onset periodontitis and cardiovascular disease, and its proliferation depends on secretion of PAD. We have expressed two recombinant forms of the P. gingivalis PAD in Escherichia coli, a truncated form with a 43-amino acid N-terminal deletion and the full-length form of PAD as predicted from the DNA sequence. Both forms contain a poly-His tag and Xpress epitope at the N-terminus to aid in detection and purification. The activities and stabilities of these two forms have been evaluated. PAD is cold sensitive; it aggregates within 30 min at 4 degrees C, and optimal storage conditions are at 25 degrees C in the presence of a reducing agent. PAD is not a metalloenzyme and does not need a cofactor for catalysis or stability. Multiple l-arginine analogs, various arginine-containing peptides, and free l-arginine were used to evaluate substrate specificity and determine kinetic parameters.