A gene encoding Bfr (bacterioferritin) was identified and isolated from the genome of Desulfovibrio vulgaris cells, and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. In vitro, H2O2 oxidizes Fe2+ ions at much higher reaction rates than O-2. The H2O2 oxidation of two Fe2+ ions was proven by Mossbauer spectroscopy of rapid freeze-quenched samples. On the basis of the Mossbauer parameters of the intermediate species we propose that D. vulgaris Bfr follows a mineralization mechanism similar to the one reported for vertebrate H-type ferritins subunits, in which a diferrous centre at the ferroxidase site is oxidized to diferric intermediate species, that are subsequently translocated into the inner nanocavity. D. vulgaris recombinant Bfr oxidizes and stores up to 600 iron atoms per protein. This Bfr is able to bind DNA and protect it against hydroxyl radical and DNase deleterious effects. The use of H2O2 as an oxidant, combined with the DNA binding and protection activities, seems to indicate a DPS (DNA-binding protein from starved cells)-like role for D. vulgaris Bfr.