The self-incompatibility response in Brassica allows recognition and rejection of self-pollen by the stigmatic papillae. The transmembrane S-locus receptor kinase (SRK), a member of the receptor-like kinase superfamily in plants, mediates recognition of self-pollen on the female side, whereas the S-locus cysteine-rich protein (SCR) is the male component of the self-incompatibility response. SCR is presumably located in the pollen coat, and is thought to be the SRK ligand. Although many receptor-like kinases have been isolated in plants, the mechanisms of signal transduction mediated by these molecules remain largely unknown. Here we show that SRK is phosphorylated in vivo within one hour of self-pollination. We also show that, in vitro, autophosphorylation of SRK is prevented by the stigma thioredoxin THL1 in the absence of a ligand. This inhibition is released in a haplotype-specific manner by the addition of pollen coat proteins. Our data indicate that SRK is inhibited by thioredoxins and activated by pollen coat proteins.