Abstract RecQ DNA gene of multi-drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum K1 (PfRecQ1) was cloned, and the recombinant C-terminal-decahistidine-tagged PfRecQ1 was expressed in Escherichia coli. The purified enzyme could efficiently unwind partial duplex DNA substrate in a 3′ to 5′ direction. The malarial RecQ1 could not unwind substrates with both 5′ and 3′ overhangs, those with a 5′ overhang, or blunt-ended DNA duplexes. Unwinding of DNA helicase activity was driven by the hydrolysis of ATP. The drug inhibitory effects of six compounds indicated that only doxorubicin and daunorubicin could inhibit the unwinding activity.