Adenylate kinase (AK) from Escherichia coli was used as both solubility and affinity tag for recombinant protein production. When fused to the N-terminus of a target protein, an AK fusion protein could be expressed in soluble form and purified to near homogeneity in a single step from Blue-Sepherose via affinity elution with micromolar concentration of P1, P5- di (adenosine-5') pentaphosphate (Ap5A), a transition-state substrate analog of AK. Unlike any other affinity tags, the level of a recombinant protein expression in soluble form and its yield of recovery during each purification step could be readily assessed by AK enzyme activity in near real time. Coupled to a His-Tag installed at the N-terminus and a thrombin cleavage site at the C terminus of AK, the streamlined method, here we dubbed AK-TAG, could also allow convenient expression and retrieval of a cleaved recombinant protein in high yield and purity via dual affinity purification steps. Thus AK-TAG is a new addition to the arsenal of existing affinity tags for recombinant protein expression and purification, and is particularly useful where soluble expression and high degree of purification are at stake.