Bone-resorbing osteoclasts and activated macrophages express large amounts of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), an iron-containing enzyme with unknown biological function. We studied acid phosphatase (AcP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating activities of recombinant rat TRAP. pH optimum was 4.5 for AcP activity and 6.5 for ROS-generating activity. Replacement of His113 and His216 by site-directed mutagenesis severely inhibited AcP activity, but had no significant effects on ROS-generating activity. Substrate specificity was not affected by the mutations. These results suggest that AcP and ROS-generating activities of TRAP are functionally independent.