A cyclic AMP and calcium-independent protein kinase has been identified and purified from pig brain to near homogeneity. This independent protein kinase was isolated in an inactive form, and activation required ATP and Mg2+. On sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, the purified enzyme contains 1 subunit with a molecular mass of about 36 kDa. Although there was no significant phosphorylation of phosphorylase, phosphorylase b kinase, casein, phosvitin, and protamine, this kinase was found to be very active toward myelin basic protein and histones H1, 2A, and 2B. Trypsinolysis completely destroyed the kinase activity, indicating that this is not a protease-activated protein kinase. More interesting, this cAMP and calcium-independent protein kinase can be regulated by its state of phosphorylation. In its non-phosphorylated state, the kinase was essentially inactive but could be fully activated when the enzyme was phosphorylated up to a 1:1 molar ratio. Conversely, partial dephosphorylation of the phosphorylated enzyme was associated with a time-dependent decrease in the kinase activity and a loss of 32P. All the results taken together point out that this kinase is distinguished from all the reported protein kinases and may represent a previously undiscovered protein kinase. The results also provide initial evidence that a cascade activation mechanism may possibly be involved in the regulation of a protein kinase activity which is independent of cAMP and calcium.