The interaction of cells with the extracellular matrix regulates cell shape, motility, growth, survival, differentiation and gene expression, through integrin-mediated signal transduction. We used a two-hybrid screen to isolate genes encoding proteins that interact with the beta 1-integrin cytoplasmic domain. The most frequently isolated complementary DNA encoded a new, 59K serine/threonine protein kinase, containing four ankyrin-like repeats. We report here that this integrin-linked kinase (ILK) phosphorylated a beta 1-integrin cytoplasmic domain peptide in vitro and coimmunoprecipitated with beta 1 in lysates of mammalian cells. Endogenous ILK kinase activity was reduced in response to fibronectin. Overexpression of p59ILK disrupted epithelial cell architecture and inhibited adhesion to integrin substrates, while inducing anchorage-independent growth. We propose that ILK is a receptor-proximal protein kinase regulating integrin-mediated signal transduction.