We have characterized in vivo and in vitro the recently identified DsbG from Escherichia coli. In addition to sharing sequence homology with the thiol disulfide exchange protein DsbC, DsbG likewise was shown to form a stable periplasmic dimer, and it displays an equilibrium constant with glutathione comparable with DsbA and DsbC. DsbG was found to be expressed at approximately 25% the level of DsbC. In contrast to earlier results (Andersen, C. L., Matthey-Dupraz, A., Missiakas, D., and Raina, S. (1997) Mol. Microbiol. 26, 121-132), we showed that dsbG is not essential for growth and that dsbG null mutants display no defect in folding of multiple disulfide-containing heterologous proteins. Overexpression of DsbG, however, was able to restore the ability of dsbC mutants to express heterologous multidisulfide proteins, namely bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, a protein with three disulfides, and to a lesser extent, mouse urokinase (12 disulfides). As in DsbC, the putative active site thiols in DsbG are completely reduced in vivo in a dsbD-dependent fashion, as would be expected if DsbG is acting as a disulfide isomerase or reductase. However, the latter is not likely because DsbG could not catalyze insulin reduction in vitro. Overall, our results indicate that DsbG functions primarily as a periplasmic disulfide isomerase with a narrower substrate specificity than DsbC.