Tropomyosin, extracted from the leg muscle of frogs that had been injected with [32P]orthophosphate, was fractionated into two components, alpha and beta, on a CM-cellulose column. Radioactivity was associated only with the alpha component. A single phosphorylation site was located at serine-283 (pentultimate at the COOH-terminal end) of the frog alpha tropomyosin. The same phosphorylated peptide was recovered in low yields from both rabbit skeletal alpha and cardiac tropomyosin. The presence of covalently bound phosphate in alpha tropomyosin and its absence in the beta component of rabbit skeletal muscle was suggested by 31P NMR spectroscopy. The amino acid sequences around the phosphorylation sites of frog and rabbit tropomyosin are identical. Because this sequence is not similar to any other known phosphorylation site in proteins, this indicates the existence of either specific kinase or phosphatase that can distinguish between alpha and beta tropomyosins. In a model proposed for the head-to-tail overlap of alpha tropomyosin molecules, one O-phosphoserine-283 residue could form a salt linkage with lysine-6 on one side of the overlap region and another with lysine-12 on the other side. This would predict a difference in the stability of polymers of phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated alphaalpha and alphabeta dimers of tropomyosin.