In the Trypanosomatidae, trypanothione has subsumed many of the roles of glutathione in defense against chemical and oxidant stress. Crithidia fasciculata lacks glutathione S-transferase, but contains an unusual trypanothione S-transferase activity that is associated with eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1B (eEF1B). Here we describe the cloning, expression, and reconstitution of the purified α, β and γ subunits of eEF1B from Leishmania major. Individual subunits lacked trypanothione S-transferase activity. Only eEF1B, formed by reconstitution or co-expression of the three subunits, was able to conjugate a variety of electrophilic substrates to trypanothione or glutathionylspermidine, but not glutathione. In contrast to the C. fasciculata eEF1B, the L. major enzyme also displayed peroxidase activity against a variety of organic hydroperoxides. The enzyme showed no activity with hydrogen peroxide and greatest activity with linoleic acid hydroperoxide (1 unit mg-1). Kinetic studies suggest a ternary complex mechanism, with Km values of 140 μM for trypanothione and 7.4 mM for cumene hydroperoxide and kcat = 25 s-1. Immunofluorescence studies indicate that the enzyme may be localized to the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum. These results suggest that, in addition to its role in protein synthesis, the Leishmania eEF1B may help protect the parasite from lipid peroxidation.