The complete nonstructural NS5 gene of dengue type 1 virus, Singapore strain S275/90 (D1-S275/90) was expressed in Escherichia coli as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein (126 kDa). The GST-NS5 fusion protein was purified and the recombinant NS5 protein released from the fusion protein by thrombin cleavage. The recombinant NS5 had a predicted molecular weight of 100 kDa and reacted with antiserum against D1-S275/90 virus in Western blot analysis. The purified recombinant NS5 protein possessed RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity which was inhibited (>99%) by antibodies against the recombinant NS5 protein. The polymerase product was shown to be a negative-stranded RNA molecule, of template size, which forms a double-stranded complex with the template RNA.