Two protein kinase genes (atpk1 and atpk2) were isolated from Arabidopsis thaliana genomic DNA with a probe generated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using oligonucleotide primers encoding conserved eukaryotic protein kinase sequences. atpk1 and atpk2 are organized in a head-to-tail tandem array on chromosome 3 and have about 80% nucleotide sequence identity. atpk1 encodes a hydrophilic polypeptide of 465 amino acids, M(r) = 52,554. The centrally located catalytic domain contains all the conserved residues characteristic of eukaryotic protein kinases, with greatest similarity to the catalytic domains of 70-kDa ribosomal S6 protein kinase, protein kinase C, and protein kinase A. The C-terminal 75 residues also show homology to protein kinase C and S6 protein kinase. In contrast, the N-terminal 130 residues have no homology to any known protein, and thus may represent a new class of protein kinase regulatory domain. Other motifs found in the Atpk1 protein include two putative autophosphorylation sites, a pseudosubstrate site, two acidic domains, a lysine-rich domain, and two putative PEST sequences, which may contribute to the regulation of protein kinase activity. RNA-blot hybridization showed that atpk1 encoded a 1.8-kb mRNA. Analysis of atpk1 promoter/beta-glucuronidase reporter gene fusions in transgenic plants showed that atpk1 was expressed in all tissues and at all developmental stages, with the strongest expression observed in metabolically active tissues, suggesting that atpk1 is involved in the control of plant growth and development. The first intron of atpk1 functions as an enhancer in atpk1 expression.