Although highly sequence similar, human histidine triad nucleotide binding protein (hHint1) and E. coli hinT (echinT) exhibit significant differences in their phosphoramidase substrate specificity and lysyl-adenylate hydrolytic activity. Observing that the C termini of each enzyme are highly dissimilar, we created two chimeric Hint's: one in which the C terminus of hHintl was replaced with the C terminus of echinT (Hs/ec) and the other in which the C terminus of echinT was replaced with the C terminus of hHintl (ec/Hs). The Hs/ec chimera exhibited nearly identical specificity constants (kcat/Km) to those found for echinT, whereas the specificity constants of the ec/Hs chimera were found to approximate those for hHint1. In particular, as observed for echinT, the Hs/ec chimera does not exhibit a preference for phosphoramidates containing D- or L- tryptophan, while the ec/Hs chimera adopts the human enzyme preference for the L configuration. In addition, the studies with each chimera revealed that differences in the ability of hHintl and echinT to hydrolyze lysyl-AMP generated by either E. coli or human lysyl-tRNA synthetase were partially transferable by C-terminal loop exchange. Hence, our results support the critical role of the C-terminal loop of human and E. coli Hint1 on governing substrate specificity.