We characterize here the MJ1541 gene product from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii, an enzyme that was annotated as a 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine deaminase (EC 22.214.171.124/126.96.36.199). The MJ1541 gene product catalyzes the conversion of 5'-deoxyadenosine to 5'-deoxyinosine as its major product but will also deaminate 5'-methylthioadenosine, S-adenosylhomocysteine, and adenosine to a small extent. On the basis of these findings, we are naming this new enzyme 5'-deoxyadenosine deaminase (DadD). The Km for 5'-deoxyadenosine was found to be 14.0 ± 1.2 μM with a kcat/Km of 9.1 × 10(9) M(-1) s(-1). Radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) enzymes account for nearly 2% of the M. jannaschii genome, where the major SAM derived products is 5'-deoxyadenosine. Since 5'-dA has been demonstrated to be an inhibitor of radical SAM enzymes; a pathway for removing this product must be present. We propose here that DadD is involved in the recycling of 5'-deoxyadenosine, whereupon the 5'-deoxyribose moiety of 5'-deoxyinosine is further metabolized to deoxyhexoses used for the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids in methanogens.