Myelin basic protein serves as a convenient substrate for detection of a 44 kDa protein-serine/threonine kinase (p44mpk) that is activated near the time of germinal vesicle breakdown in maturing echinoderm and amphibian oocytes. In vitro phosphorylation by purified p44mpk from sea star oocytes was primarily on threonine residues on a single tryptic peptide of bovine brain myelin basic protein. Amino acid composition analysis of the isolated posphopeptide revealed that it was rich in proline residues. Automated solid-phase sequencing by Edman degradation identified the major site as Thr-97 in the sequence NIVTPRTPPPSQGK, which corresponds to residues 91-104 in bovine brain myelin basic protein. Thr-94 was also phosphorylated by p44mpk to a very minor extent.