Two different types of diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) have been purified 10,455-fold (DGK I) and 7,410-fold (DGK IV) from the cytosol and membrane fractions of rat brain, respectively. The cytosolic DGK was purified by successive chromatographies on Affi-Gel Blue, Q-Sepharose F.F., Mono Q, hydroxylapatite, and ATP-agarose. The membrane-bound DGK was purified from the 2 M NaCl extract of membranes by chromatography on Affi-Gel Blue, phenyl-Superose, hydroxylapatite, and ATP-agarose. The resultant preparations contained homogeneous enzymes with a Mr of 110,000 (DGK I) and 150,000 (DGK IV) as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. These enzymes both phosphorylate 1,2-dioleoyl glycerol at rates of 11.5 mumol/min/mg protein for DGK I and 5.2 mumol/min/mg protein for DGK IV. Both enzymes require divalent cations and ionic detergents for activity. Magnesium is the most potent cation for both enzymes, but Ca2+ was also found to be fairly effective. Manganese is less effective than Mg2+ or Ca2+. Anionic detergents such as sodium deoxycholate or sodium cholate stimulate the activities of both enzymes, although DGK IV is stimulated more markedly than DGK I at lower concentrations. The optimal pH for the two enzymes was found to be the same, pH 7.4. Some phospholipids such as phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylinositol elevate the kinase activities of these kinases even in the absence of detergents. DGK IV is activated more significantly than DGK I by low amounts of phospholipids. The two enzymes also show structural differences. DGK I and DGK IV give different peptide maps after digestion with Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease or alpha-chymotrypsin. The results suggest that these enzymes are different forms of DGK and may be involved in different biological processes.