Hyperuricemia is well known as the cause of gout. In recent years, it has also been recognized as a risk factor for arteriosclerosis, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases, and nephropathy in diabetic patients. Foods high in purine compounds are more potent in exacerbating hyperuricemia. Therefore, the development of probiotics that efficiently degrade purine compounds is a promising potential therapy for the prevention of hyperuricemia. In this study, fifty-five lactic acid bacteria isolated from Chinese sauerkraut were evaluated for the ability to degrade inosine and guanosine, the two key intermediates in purine metabolism. After a preliminary screening based on HPLC, three candidate strains with the highest nucleoside degrading rates were selected for further characterization. The tested biological characteristics of candidate strains included acid tolerance, bile tolerance, anti-pathogenic bacteria activity, cell adhesion ability, resistance to antibiotics and the ability to produce hydrogen peroxide. Among the selected strains, DM9218 showed the best probiotic potential compared with other strains despite its poor bile resistance. Analysis of 16S rRNA sequences showed that DM9218 has the highest similarity (99%) to Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. The acclimated strain DM9218-A showed better resistance to 0.3% bile salt, and its survival in gastrointestinal tract of rats was proven by PCR-DGGE. Furthermore, the effects of DM9218-A in a hyperuricemia rat model were evaluated. The level of serum uric acid in hyperuricemic rat can be efficiently reduced by the intragastric administration of DM9218-A ( P<0.05). The preventive treatment of DM9218-A caused a greater reduction in serum uric acid concentration in hyperuricemic rats than the later treatment ( P<0.05). Our results suggest that DM9218-A may be a promising candidate as an adjunctive treatment in patients with hyperuricemia during the onset period of disease. DM9218-A also has potential as a probiotic in the prevention of hyperuricemia in the normal population.