Initial velocity and product inhibition studies of thymidine phosphorylase from mouse liver revealed that the basic reaction mechanism of this enzyme is a rapid equilibrium random bi-bi mechanism with an enzyme-phosphate-thymine dead-end complex. Thymine displayed both substrate inhibition and nonlinear product inhibition, i.e., slope and intercept replots vs. 1/[thymine] were nonlinear, indicating that there is more than one binding site on the enzyme for thymine and that when thymine is bound to one of these sites, the enzyme is inhibited. Furthermore, both thymidine and phosphate showed "cooperative effects" in the presence of thymine at concentrations above 60 μM, suggesting that the enzyme may have multiple interacting allosteric and/or catalytic sites. The deoxyribosyl transferase reaction catalyzed by this enzyme is phosphate-dependent, requires nonstoichiometric amounts of phosphate, and can proceed by an "enzyme-bound" 2-deoxyribose 1-phosphate intermediate. These findings are in accord with the rapid equilibrium random bi-bi mechanism and demonstrate that deoxyribosyl transfer by this enzyme involves an indirect-transfer mechanism. These results strongly suggest that phosphorolysis and deoxyribosyl transfer are catalyzed by the same site on thymidine phosphorylase. © 1985, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.