In this work, we show that adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (ATP gamma S) is a substrate for yeast inorganic pyrophosphatase (PPase) (EC 18.104.22.168) and further, using chirally labeled [gamma-17O,18O]ATP gamma S, that enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis to produce chiral inorganic thio[17O,18O]phosphate proceeds with inversion of configuration. Both the synthesis of chiral ATP gamma S and the determination of inorganic thiophosphate configuration were carried out as described by Webb [Webb, M. R. (1982) Methods Enzymol. 87, 301-316]. We also show in a single turnover experiment performed in H2(18)O that 1 mol each of 18O16O3P and 16O4P is produced per mol of inorganic pyrophosphate hydrolyzed, a strong indication that oxygen uptake to form inorganic phosphate on PPase catalysis of inorganic pyrophosphate hydrolysis comes directly from H2O. These two results provide strong evidence for the conclusion that PPase catalyzes inorganic pyrophosphate hydrolysis via a single-step direct phosphoryl transfer to water and does not involve formation of a phosphorylated enzyme intermediate.