Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are small molecular weight proteins involved in acquisition of tolerance to drought, salinity, high temperature, cold, and freezing stress in many plants. Previous studies revealed a cDNA sequence coding for a 10 kDa atypical LEA protein, named MeLEA3, predicted to be located into mitochondria with potential role in salt stress response of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Here we aimed to produce the recombinant MeLEA3 protein by heterologous expression in Escherichia coli and evaluate the tolerance of bacteria expressing this protein under abiotic stress. Our result revealed that the recombinant MeLEA3 protein conferred a protective function against heat and salt stress in bacterial cells. Also, the recombinant MeLEA3 protein showed in vitro chaperone activity by protection of NdeI restriction enzyme activity under heat stress.