The enzyme responsible for 15-lipoxygenation of arachidonic acid was purified to homogeneity from human eosinophil-enriched leukocytes using a combination of ammonium sulfate precipitation, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and high pressure liquid chromatography on hydroxyapatite and cation-exchange columns. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the purified protein revealed a single major band (apparent Mr 70,000). Amino acid sequence analysis yielded a single N-terminal sequence. Comparison of the N-terminal 15 residues reveals 71% sequence identity to the rabbit reticulocyte lipoxygenase and 36% sequence identity to the rat basophilic leukemia 5-lipoxygenase. In contrast, sequence identity to the soybean lipoxygenase-1 is not observed. These results demonstrate that human 15-lipoxygenase can be isolated from eosinophil-enriched leukocytes and is accessible for direct sequence analysis. Furthermore, we present initial evidence that the mammalian lipoxygenases constitute an homologous family of enzymes. The availability of homogeneous human 15-lipoxygenase will play a key role in elucidating other relationships in this family of enzymes.