Early-growth-response genes, also known as immediate-early genes, play important roles in regulating cell proliferation. We have identified a new type of early-growth-response gene product, a 77,811-Da putative serine/threonine kinase, which is highly inducible by serum and phorbol ester. mRNA encoding this putative kinase is markedly elevated within 1 h after treatment with mitogen, and this induction is synergistically increased by cycloheximide. Dexamethasone blocks serum induction of the kinase mRNA, as does transformation by v-Ki-ras. The kinase mRNA was detected in mouse brain, lung, and heart. This new putative kinase, which we term Snk, for serum-inducible kinase, showed similarity in its proposed catalytic domain to many other protein kinases; however, no other kinase showed enough sequence similarity with Snk to suggest the existence of a common function. Hence, Snk represents a new type of protein kinase involved in the early mitogenic response whose activity is transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally regulated.