The DNA inversion systems are made up of an invertible DNA segment and a site-specific recombinase gene. Five systems are known in prokaryotes: the Salmonella typhimurium H segment and hin gene (H-hin), phage Mu G-gin, phage P1 C-cin, Escherichia coli e14 P-pin, and Shigella sonnei B-pinB systems. In this report a site-specific recombinase (pinD) gene of Shigella dysenteriae was cloned and sequenced. pinD mediated inversion of five known segments at the same extent in E. coli. Although one inv sequence was identified, no invertible region was detected in a cloned fragment. The predicted amino acid sequences of PinD and three ORFs showed high homology to those of Gin and its flanking gene products. An ORF homologous to Mom of Mu conserved a functional activity to modify intracellular plasmid DNA. Southern analysis showed that the cloned fragment contains two homologous regions corresponding to the left and right ends of the Mu genome. Together these results indicated that the pinD gene in S. dysenteriae is derived from a Mu-like prophage.