Two thiol-activated endopeptidases with pH optima near pH 7.5 were isolated from the supernatant fraction of rabbit brain homogenates by DEAE-cellulose chromatography, gel filtration and isoelectrofocusing. Peptide bond hydrolysis was measured quantitatively by ion-exchange chromatography with an amino acid analyzer. Brain kininase A hydrolyzes the Phe5-Ser6 peptide bond in bradykinin (Bk), Arg1-Pro2-Pro3-Gly4-Phe5-Ser6-Pro7-Phe8-Arg9. It is isoelectric near pH 5.2 and has a molecular weight of approximately 71 000. The enzyme also hydrolyzes the Phe-Ser peptide bond in Lys-Bk, Met-Lys-Bk, des-Arg1-Bk, Lys9-Bk, Pro-Gly-Phe-Ser-Pro-Phe-Arg, and Gly-Pro-Phe-Ser-Pro-Phe-Arg, but does not hydrolyze (0.1%) this bond in des-Phe8-Arg9-Bk. Brain kininase B hydrolyzes the Pro7-Phe8 peptide bond in Bk. It is isoelectric at pH 4.9 and has a molecular weight of approximately 68 000. Brain kininase B also hydrolyzes the Pro-Phe bond in Lys-Bk, Met-Lys-Bk, Lys9-Bk, Ser-Pro-Phe-Arg, and Phe-Ser-Pro-Arg. Pretreatment of denatured kininogen with brain kininase A or B did not reduce the amount of trypsin-releasable Bk from this precursor protein, indicating that the Bk sequence, when part of a large protein, is not a substrate for either enzyme. However, kininase A and B hydrolyze the octadecapeptide Gly-Leu-Met-Lys-Arg-Pro-Pro-Gly-Phe-Ser-Pro-Phe-Arg-Ser-Val-Gin-Val. The data show that a large part of the C-terminal portion of bradykinin is important for the brain kininase A activity and, for both enzymes, the size of the peptide and presumably the residues adjacent to the scissle bond are important in determining the rate of peptide bond hydrolysis by these endopeptidases.