Smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase, purified to homogeneity, has a molecular weight of 130,000 +/- 5,000 in sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The purified enzyme has a specific activity under maximal conditions of 30 mumol Pi transferred to myosin light chain/mg kinase/min at 24 C and is totally dependent on calmodulin and calcium for activity. Incubation of myosin kinase with the catalytic subunit of cyclic adenosine 3':5'-monophosphate-dependent protein kinase results in the covalent incorporation of up to one mol of phosphate per mol of myosin kinase in the absence of bound calmodulin. Limited tryptic digestion of the radioactively labeled kinase indicates that all of the label has been incorporated into a single tryptic peptide (mol wt approximately 22,000), suggesting that a single site is being phosphorylated. Phosphorylation of myosin kinase lowers the rate at which the kinase phosphorylates myosin light chain. The lower rate of light chain phosphorylation is due to a weaker binding of calmodulin to the phosphorylated kinase than to the unphosphorylated kinase. Cyclic adenosine 3':5'-monophosphate-dependent phosphorylation of the kinase actin-myosin interaction represents a possible link between hormonal binding to smooth muscle receptors and muscle relaxation. A scheme for this sequence of events is presented.