Purified isoenzymes of human alkaline phosphatase from placenta, intestine and liver were investigated as catalysts for phosphotransferase activity, using the phosphoacceptors Tris, 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol, 2-amino-2-methyl-1,3-propanediol, diethanolamine, 2-(ethylamino)ethanol, ethanolamine, and N-methyl-D-glucamine. All of the compounds supported phosphotransferase catalysis, conforming to saturation kinetics. There was little difference among the isoenzymes with respect to Km values of the acceptors, but the liver form was the most efficient (highest Vmax/Km) in forming phosphoacceptors; it was also the most efficient (highest Vamax/Ka) when the phosphoacceptors were considered as activators. At Vmax the isoenzymes differed little in their support of phosphotransferase activity relative to phosphohydrolysis, although the intestinal enzyme tended to be the poorest. The two best acceptors were diethanolamine, providing the highest phosphotransferase velocity, and 2-(ethylamino)ethanol, having the lowest Km. The phosphoaceptors that bound Zn2+ tightly did not function well in the phosphotransferase reaction, and vice versa. However, temporal assessment of the phosphohydrolytic and phosphotransferase activities during removal of Zn2+ from the enzyme with 1,10-phenanthroline revealed no evidence of a special role for Zn2+ in the latter activity.