The major leucyl aminopeptidase (LAP) from the midgut of Morimus funereus larvae was purified and characterised. Specific LAP activity was increased 292-fold by purification of the crude midgut extract. The purified enzyme had a pH optimum of 7.5 (optimum pH range 7.0-8.5) and preferentially hydrolysed p-nitroanilides containing hydrophobic amino acids in the active site, with the highest V(max)/K(M) ratio for leucine-p-nitroanilide (LpNA). Among a number of inhibitors tested, the most efficient were 1,10-phenanthroline having a K(i) value of 0.12 mM and cysteine with K(i) value of 0.31 mM, while EGTA stimulated LAP activity. Zn(2+), Mg(2+) and Mn(2+) all showed bi-modal effects on LAP activity (activated at low concentrations and inhibited at high concentrations). The purified LAP (after gel filtration on Superose 6 column) had molecular mass of 400 kDa with an isoelectric point of 6.2. Sodium dodecylsulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) revealed one band of 67 kDa, suggesting that the enzyme is a hexamer. Six peptide sequences from protein band were obtained using ESI/MS-MS analysis. Comparison of the obtained peptide sequences with the EMBL-EBI sequence analysis toolbox and the BLASTP database showed a high degree of identity with other insect aminopeptidases.