Porcine kidney tubular epithelial cells (LLC-PK1) produce nitric oxide or a related compound (e.g., a nitrosothiol) after stimulation with various agonists. We now report the identification and characterization of a constitutive, particulate nitric oxide (NO) synthase from LLC-PK1 cells. After partial purification on adenosine 2',5'-bisphosphate-Sepharose, the particulate NO synthase activity eluted anomalously from Superose 6 gel permeation columns near the total included volume, similar to that observed for the endothelial (type III) NO synthase. Substrate/cofactor requirements of the epithelial and endothelial NO synthases were identical, i.e., dependency on L-arginine, (6R)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin, FAD, calcium and calmodulin. The epithelial enzyme activity was inhibited by the arginine analogues, N(G)-methyl-L-arginine (100 μM) and N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (100 μM), as well as the calmodulin antagonists, trifluoperazine (100 μM) and calmidazolium (30 μM). Anti-type III (H32), but not anti-type I (brain, 6763-5) or anti-type II (macrophage, 8196) NO synthase antibodies, detected a single immunoreactive band in the LLC-PK1 particulate fraction of ~140 kDa by Western blot analysis. Finally, the presence of type III NO synthase mRNA in LLC-PK1 cells was demonstrated using the polymerase chain reaction. These data indicate that LLC-PK1 kidney epithelial cells contain type III NO synthase, which has been classically associated with the vascular endothelium.