Adenosine deaminase (EC 18.104.22.168) was found to occur in the extract of Azotobacter vinelandii, strain 0, and purified by heating at 65 degrees C, fractionation with ammonium sulfate, DEAE-cellulose chromatography and gel filtration on Sephadex G-150. Purified adenosine deaminase was effectively stabilized by the addition of ethylene glycol. The molecular weight of the enzyme was estimated to be 66,000 by gel filtration on Sephadex G-150. The enzyme specifically attacked adenosine and 2'-deoxyadenosine to the same extent, and formycin A to a lesser extent. The pH optimum of the enzyme was observed at pH 7.2. Double reciprocal plot of initial velocity versus adenosine concentration was concave upward, and Hill interaction coefficient was calculated to be 1.5, suggesting the allosteric binding of the substrate. ATP inhibited adenosine deaminase in an allosteric manner, whereas other nucleotides were without effect. The physiological significance of the enzyme was discussed in relation to salvage pathway of purine nucleotides.