Phospholipase C from the Dallas 1E strain of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 5 was purified from buffered yeast extract culture supernate by ion-exchange chromatography followed by fractionation by manganous chloride and ammonium sulphate precipitation steps. Enzyme activity was assayed by hydrolysis of p-nitrophenylphosphorylcholine and confirmed by release of radioactivity from tritiated L-alpha-dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine labelled in the methyl groups of choline. After SDS-PAGE, the purified preparation yielded a single band upon Coomassie-blue staining. This protein migrated with an apparent Mr of 50,000-54,000. Phospholipase C activity was maximal at pH greater than or equal to 8.4 and was enhanced in the presence of sorbitol and of several nonionic detergents but was eliminated by SDS. EDTA, Cu2+, Fe2+ and Zn2+ inhibited enzyme activity, whereas Ba2+, Ca2+, Co2+, Mg2+ and Mn2+ restored activity to EDTA-treated material. No haemolytic activity was demonstrated with the purified enzyme.