1. Dye-ligand chromatography using immobilized Cibacron blue F3GA (blue Sepharose CL-6B) and Procion red HE3B (Matrex gel red A) as matrices and general ligand chromatography employing immobilized 2',5'-ADP (2',5'-ADP-Sepharose 4B) and immobilized 3',5'-ADP (3',5'-ADP-Agarose) were employed for purification of NADPH-dependent 2-enoyl-CoA reductase and 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase from bovine liver (formerly called 4-enoyl-CoA reductase [Kunau, W. H. and Dommes, P. (1978) Eur. J. Biochem. 91, 533-544], as well as 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase from Escherichia coli. 2. The NADPH-dependent 2-enoyl-CoA reductase from bovine liver mitochondria was separated from 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase by dye-ligand chromatography (Matrex gel red A/KCl gradient) as well as by general ligand affinity chromatography (2',5'-ADP-Sepharose 4B/NADP gradient). The enzyme was obtained in a highly purified form. 3. The NADPH-dependent 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase from bovine liver mitochondria was purified to homogeneity using blue Sepharose CL-6B, Matrex gel red A, and 2',5'-ADP-Sepharose 4B chromatography. 4. The bacterial 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase was completely purified by ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-cellulose followed by a single affinity chromatography step employing 2',5'-ADP-Sepharose 4B and biospecific elution from the column with a substrate, trans,trans-2,4-decadienoyl-CoA. 5. The application of dye-ligand and general ligand affinity chromatography for purification of NADPH-dependent 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductases taking part in the beta-oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids is discussed. It is concluded that making use of coenzyme specificity for binding and substrate specificity for elution is essential for obtaining homogeneous enzyme preparations.