Endogenous membrane protein kinase activity and protein kinase substrates have been found in membrane fractions enriched in the acetylcholine receptor that were prepared from the electric organ of Torpedo californica. Phosphorylation of four polypeptides is stimulated 9-fold by K+. The specific cholinergic ligand, carbachol, inhibited phosphorylation of these four polypeptides by 72% in the presence of 1mM Na+ and 100 mM K+. The 65,000-dalton component of the acetylcholine receptor in the membrane fraction appears to be phosphorylated by the endogenous protein kinase. These results suggest that protein phosphorylation may play an important role in synaptic events at nicotinic cholinergic synapses.