Site-specific recombinases of the integrase family share limited amino-acid-sequence similarity, but use a common reaction mechanism to recombine distinct DNA target sites. Here we report the characterisation of the Kw site-specific recombinase, encoded on the 2 mu-like plasmid pKWS1 from the yeast Kluyveromyces waltii. Using in vitro-translated Kw recombinase, we show that the protein is able to bind and to recombine its putative DNA target site. Recombination is conservative and the Kw target site has a spacer of seven base pairs. We show that Kw recombinase is able to mediate recombination in a mammalian cell line, thus, it has potential for use as a tool for genomic manipulation in heterologous systems.