This laboratory has been characterizing protein serine/threonine kinase reactions of hematopoietic tissues, whose most distinguishing characteristics in vitro are stimulation with vesicular phosphatidyl glycerol, and the ability to function using Mn2+ as the sole divalent cation. The major protein substrates are a 73-kD protein and a protein migrating near ovalbumin on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The 47-kD protein was partially purified from cells harvested by leukapheresis from a patient with acute myelogenous leukemia, using ammonium sulfate precipitation and ion exchange chromatography. This partially purified ion-exchange fraction contained an endogenous kinase activity with characteristics similar to those we previously described of protein kinase P (protein kinase, phospholipid- stimulable: PK-P), but not typical of any form of protein kinase C (PK- C). With longer phosphorylation, the 47-kD band showed increasingly lower mobility demonstrable both by Coomassie blue staining and autoradiography, suggesting both that it was multiply phosphorylated, and that the excisable band was pure. The protein was thus eluted from preparative gel slices and digested with endoproteinase lys C. Sequence data from the fragments identified the protein as the 47-kD calpain fragment of talin, a protein found in focal adhesion plaques and some cell-cell contacts. PK-C phosphorylated the 47-kD protein, as has been reported previously, and phosphopeptide mapping disclosed a similar pattern of phosphorylation using either PK-C or the endogenous activity. The 47-kD protein labeled with the endogenous kinase contained predominantly phosphoserine, with some phosphothreonine and a trace of phosphotyrosine. Intact, purified talin was also phosphorylated by PK-P in a phospholipid-stimulable manner, but at 1/20 the rate of the 47-kD fragment.