A folate-degrading enzyme, carboxypeptidase G2, has been purified on a large scale from Pseudomonas sp. strain RS-16. Homogeneous enzyme was obtained by a three-step procedure involving ion-exchange chromatography and a novel triazine dye (affinity) chromatography step which utilizes Zn2+ to promote adsorption of the enzyme. Enzyme was selectively eluted by the use of a chelating agent (EDTA) and a step change in pH. The enzyme is a dimeric protein (Mr 83000) with two identical subunits of 41800 and contains four atoms of zinc per enzyme molecule, which are required for full activity. The enzyme follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics with Km values of 4.0 microM for folate, 8.0 microM for methotrexate and 34.0 microM for 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the predominant form of reduced folate found in plasma.