We have previously reported that oyster hepatopancreas contained three unusual α-ketoside hydrolases: (i) a 3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid α-ketoside hydrolase (α-Kdo-ase), (ii) a 3-deoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-non-2-ulosonic acid α-ketoside hydrolase and (iii) a bifunctional ketoside hydrolase capable of cleaving both the α-ketosides of Kdn and Neu5Ac (Kdn-sialidase). After completing the purification of Kdn-sialidase, we proceeded to clone the gene encoding this enzyme. Unexpectedly, we found that instead of expressing Kdn-sialidase, our cloned gene expressed α-Kdo-ase activity. The full-length gene, consisting of 1176-bp (392 amino acids, Mr 44,604), expressed an active recombinant α-Kdo-ase (R-α-Kdo-ase) in yeast and CHO-S cells, but not in various Escherichia coli strains. The deduced amino acid sequence contains two Asp boxes (S277PDDGKTW and S328TDQGKTW) commonly found in sialidases, but is devoid of the signature FRIP-motif of sialidase. The R-α-Kdo-ase effectively hydrolyzed the Kdo in the core-oligosaccharide of the structurally defined lipopolysaccharide (LPS), Re-LPS (Kdo2-Lipid A) from Salmonella minnesota R595 and E. coli D31m4. However, Rd-LPS from S. minnesota R7 that contained an extra outer core phosphorylated heptose was only slowly hydrolyzed. The complex type LPS from Neisseria meningitides A1 and M992 that contained extra 5–6 sugar units at the outer core were refractory to R-α-Kdo-ase. This R-α-Kdo-ase should become useful for studying the structure and function of Kdo-containing glycans.