Here we report the cloning, expression, and characterization of a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE) from Trypanosoma brucei (TbPDE2B). Using a bioinformatic approach, two different expressed sequence tag clones were identified and used to isolate the complete sequence of two identical PDE genes arranged in tandem. Each gene consists of 2,793 bases that predict a protein of 930 aa with a molecular mass of 103.2 kDa. Two GAF (for cGMP binding and stimulated PDEs, Anabaena adenylyl cyclases, and Escherichia coli FhlA) domains, similar to those contained in many signaling molecules including mammalian PDE2, PDE5, PDE6, PDE10, and PDE11, were located N-terminal to a consensus PDE catalytic domain. The catalytic domain is homologous to the catalytic domain of all 11 mammalian PDEs, the Dictyostelium discoideum RegA, and a probable PDE from Caenorhabditis elegans. It is most similar to the T. brucei PDE2A (89% identity). TbPDE2B has substrate specificity for cAMP with a Km of 2.4 μM. cGMP is not hydrolyzed by TbPDE2B nor does this cyclic nucleotide modulate cAMP PDE activity. The nonselective PDE inhibitors 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, papaverine and pentoxifyline are poor inhibitors of TbPDE2B. Similarly, PDE inhibitors selective for the mammalian PDE families 2, 3, 5, and 6 (erythro-9-[3-(2-hydroxynonyl)]-adenine, enoximone, zaprinast, and sildenafil) were also unable to inhibit this enzyme. However, dipyridamole was a reasonably good inhibitor of this enzyme with an IC50 of 27 μM. cAMP plays key roles in cell growth and differentiation in this parasite, and PDEs are responsible for the hydrolysis of this important second messenger. Therefore, parasite PDEs, including this one, have the potential to be attractive targets for selective drug design.