myo-Inositol-1-phosphatase from bovine brain was purified over 2000-fold. The native enzyme has a Mr of 59,000, and on SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis the subunit Mr was 31,000. Thus the native enzyme is a dimer of two apparently identical subunits. The enzyme, purified to a specific activity of more than 300 units/mg of protein (1 unit of enzyme activity corresponds to the release of 1 mumol of Pi/h at 37 degrees C), catalysed the hydrolysis of a variety of phosphorylated compounds, the best one, in terms of V/Km, being D-myo-inositol 1-phosphate. Kinetic constants of compounds tested, including both isomers of glycerophosphate and two deoxy forms of beta-glycerophosphate, were measured. They show the importance of the two hydroxyl groups which are adjacent to the phosphate in myo-inositol 1-phosphate. With a wide variety of substrates Li+ was found to be an uncompetitive inhibitor whose Ki varied with substrate structure.