Myosin fragments were fractionated on columns of the hydrophobic gel phenyl-Sepharose CL-4B. In the presence of high NaCl concentrations the fragments bound tightly to the columns; they could be eluted by decreasing the ionic strength, by increasing the pH, or by applying various concentrations of ethylene glycol. In myosin subfragment-1 (S-1), the light chains underwent partial dissociation from the heavy chain and bound separately to the column matrix. The order of strength of binding of the various species to the column was heavy chain > A1 light chain > A2 light chain > native S-1 > denatured heavy chain or S-1. Thus the hydrophobic gel appears to be able to differentiate between enzymatically active and inactive S-1. Under appropriate elution conditions it was possible to obtain S-1 preparations depleted from nicked heavy chains and with specific ATPase activities 34-130% higher than those of untreated S-1. When S-1(A2) was fractionated on phenyl-Sepharose a fivefold enrichment of the heavy chain with respect to the light chains was obtained, while the ATPase activity was equal or larger than that of the original S-1, implying that the light chains are not essential for ATPase activity. Thus, it seems that chromatography of S-1 on phenyl-Sepharose is a potentially useful method for obtaining a purified myosin heavy-chain fragment with a high ATPase specific activity.