A monoclonal antibody against rat brain type II Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaM kinase) precipitates three proteins from Drosophila heads with apparent molecular weights similar to those of the subunits of the rat brain kinase. Fly heads also contain a CaM kinase activity that becomes partially independent of Ca2+ after autophosphorylation, as does the rat brain kinase. We have isolated a Drosophila cDNA encoding an amino acid sequence that is 77% identical to the sequence of the rat alpha subunit. All known autophosphorylation sites are conserved, including the site that controls Ca(2+)-independent activity. The gene encoding the cDNA is located between 102E and F on the fourth chromosome. The protein product of this gene is expressed at much higher levels in the fly head than in the body. Thus, both the amino acid sequence and the tissue specificity of the mammalian kinase are highly conserved in Drosophila.