B cell antigen receptors are multicomponent complexes consisting of the surface immunoglobulin and accessory molecules with associating protein-tyrosine kinases. A spleen tyrosine kinase, Syk, in porcine B cells and a 72-kDa protein-tyrosine kinase, PTK72, in murine B cells associate with the B cell antigen receptor. Herein, we report the isolation of a full-length cDNA encoding the human homologue of Syk. This cDNA predicted a polypeptide consisting of two NH2-terminal SH2 domains and a COOH-terminal tyrosine kinase domain. Syk is highly conserved between human and swine and is homologous to the T cell-associated protein-tyrosine kinase ZAP-70. Both Syk mRNA and protein were detected in cells derived from multiple hematopoietic lineages. Within the B cell compartment, Syk was expressed from pro-B cells to plasma cells. In vitro kinase assays conducted on the human Syk protein isolated from B cells revealed the presence of autophosphorylation activity on Syk tyrosine residues. Tyrosine phosphorylation of Syk associating with the B cell receptor complex in human was augmented rapidly after surface immunoglobulin cross-linking. The human SYK locus was mapped to chromosome 9 at band q22.