Glutamate-l-semialdehyde (GSA) aminotransferase catalyses the final step in the C5 pathway converting glutamate to the tetrapyrrole precursor δ-aminolaevulinic acid. This enzyme is sensitive to gabaculine (2,3-dihydro-3-amino benzoic acid) and to 4-amino-5-fluoropentanoic acid (AFPA), which are irreversible, mechanism-based inhibitors of pyridoxal phosphate-dependent enzymes. Spontaneous mutants of Synechococcus PCC6301 resistant to these inhibitors contain altered enzyme that displays corresponding resistance to high concentrations of the inhibitor. The enzyme from strain GR6, resistant to both inhibitors, contains a three-amino-acid deletion at positions 5–7 and a Met248[rightward arrow]Ile substitution. The enzyme from strain K40 resistant to AFPA but not to gabaculine, contains a Ser163[rightward arrow]Thr substitution. GSA aminotransferases containing either the deletion or the substitution that are characteristic of the GR6 mutant were produced in Escherichia coli using the expression vector pMalc2. These engineered mutant enzymes were characterized in terms of their catalytic parameters and sensitivities to gabaculine and AFPA. Furthermore, maltose binding protein/aminotransferase fusion proteins were characterized spectrophotometrically to monitor the interaction of bound cofactor with diamino- and dioxo-compounds related to the substrate and both inhibitors. Results were compared with those for similarly produced recombinant wild-type, K40 and GR6 GSA aminotransferases. The engineered products with either the N-terminal deletion or the Met248[rightward arrow]Ile substitution displayed catalytic efficiencies that were intermediate between the wild-type and GR6 or K40 enzymes. However, with respect to their absorption spectra, sensitivity to inhibitors and the reactivity of bound cofactor, they were essentially wild-type. These in vitro studies demonstrate that both changes in enzyme structure are necessary to obtain the distinctive properties of the GR6 aminotransferase, including resistance to high concentrations of gabaculine and AFPA.