Neuromodulin (P-57, GAP-43, B-50, F-1) is a neurospecific calmodulin-binding protein believed to play a role in regulation of neurite outgrowth and neuroplasticity. Neuromodulin is phosphorylated by protein kinase C, and this phosphorylation prevents calmodulin from binding to neuromodulin (Alexander, K. A., Cimler, B. M., Meier, K. E. & Storm, D. R. (1987) J. Biol. Chem. 262, 6108-6113). The only other protein kinase known to phosphorylate neuromodulin is casein kinase II (Pisano, M. R., Hegazy, M. G., Reimann, E. M. & Dokas, L. A. (1988) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 155, 1207-1212). Phosphoamino acid analyses revealed that casein kinase II modified serine and threonine residues in both native bovine and recombinant mouse neuromodulin. Two serines located in the C-terminal end of neuromodulin, Ser-192 and Ser-193, were identified as the major casein kinase II phosphorylation sites. Thr-88, Thr-89, or Thr-95 were identified as minor casein kinase II phosphorylation sites. Phosphorylation by casein kinase II did not affect the ability of neuromodulin to bind to calmodulin-Sepharose. However, calmodulin did inhibit the phosphorylation of neuromodulin by casein kinase II with a Ki of 1-2 microM. Calmodulin inhibition of casein kinase II phosphorylation was due to calmodulin binding to neuromodulin rather than to the protein kinase. These data suggest that the minimal secondary and tertiary structure exhibited by neuromodulin may be sufficient to juxtapose its calmodulin-binding domain, located at the N-terminal end, with the neuromodulin casein kinase II phosphorylation sites at the C-terminal end of the protein. We propose that calmodulin regulates casein kinase II phosphorylation of neuromodulin by binding to neuromodulin and sterically hindering the interaction of casein kinase II with its phosphorylation sites on neuromodulin.