Biotin synthase (BS) is a member of the "SAM radical" superfamily of enzymes, which catalyze reactions in which the reversible or irreversible oxidation of various substrates is coupled to the reduction of the S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) sulfonium to generate methionine and 5'-deoxyadenosine (dAH). Prior studies have demonstrated that these products are modest inhibitors of BS and other members of this enzyme family. In addition, the in vivo catalytic activity of Escherichia coli BS requires expression of 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine nucleosidase, which hydrolyzes 5'-methylthioadenosine (MTA), S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (AdoHcy), and dAH. In the present work, we confirm that dAH is a modest inhibitor of BS (K(i) = 20 μM) and show that cooperative binding of dAH with excess methionine results in a 3-fold enhancement of this inhibition. However, with regard to the other substrates of MTA/AdoHcy nucleosidase, we demonstrate that AdoHcy is a potent inhibitor of BS (K(i) ≤ 650 nM) while MTA is not an inhibitor. Inhibition by both dAH and AdoHcy likely accounts for the in vivo requirement for MTA/AdoHcy nucleosidase and may help to explain some of the experimental disparities between various laboratories studying BS. In addition, we examine possible inhibition by other AdoMet-related biomolecules present as common contaminants in commercial AdoMet preparations and/or generated during an assay, as well as by sinefungin, a natural product that is a known inhibitor of several AdoMet-dependent enzymes. Finally, we examine the catalytic activity of BS with highly purified AdoMet in the presence of MTAN to relieve product inhibition and present evidence suggesting that the enzyme is half-site active and capable of undergoing multiple turnovers in vitro.