Rebeccamycin, a member of the tryptophan-derived indolocarbazole family, is produced by Lechevalieria aerocolonigenes ATCC 39243. The biosynthetic pathway that specifies biosynthesis of this important metabolite is comprised of 11 genes spanning 18 kb of DNA. A presumed early enzyme involved in elaboration of the rebeccamycin aglycone is encoded by rebO, located at the left-hand region of the reb gene cluster. The deduced protein product, RebO (51.9 kDa), is an L-amino acid oxidase (L-AAO) that has 27% identity to an L-AAO from Scomber japonicus (animal, mackerel) and is a member of the family of FAD-dependent oxidase enzymes. In order to study the biochemical properties of this key enzyme, the rebO gene was overexpressed and purified from Escherichia coli. Biochemical characterization showed that RebO is dimeric, with a molecular mass of approximately 101 kDa. Further analysis revealed that the enzyme contains a noncovalently bound FAD cofactor and is reoxidized at the expense of molecular oxygen by producing one molecule of hydrogen peroxide. Based on kinetic studies, RebO shows significant preference for 7-chloro-L-tryptophan, suggesting its likely role as the natural early pathway substrate. Furthermore, the native RebO enzyme has evident, albeit limited, flexibility as shown by bioconversion studies with unnatural substrates. This work provides the first analysis of a structural enzyme involved in construction of this important class of indolocarbazole natural products.