To determine whether GH and prolactin could be phosphorylated, turkey GH, chicken GH, chicken prolactin and turkey prolactin were incubated in vitro with the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A and [γ-32P]ATP. Phosphorylation was assessed after sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Western blotting and autoradiography. Polyacrylamide electrophoresis showed that both purified native chicken GH and turkey GH were phosphorylated under the conditions employed. However, the glycosylated variant of chicken GH did not appear to be labelled. Chicken prolactin, turkey prolactin and the glycosylated variant of turkey prolactin were all intensely phosphorylated by protein kinase A. Ovine and rat prolactins could also be phosphorylated by protein kinase A. The phosphate content of different native prolactin (turkey, ovine and rat) and GH (ovine and chicken) preparations was also determined and found to be significant. Chicken pituitary cells in primary culture incorporated P in GH- and prolactin-like bands isolated by non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and this was stimulated by phorbol myristate acetate. Phosphorylation of GH and prolactin may thus explain some of the charge heterogeneity of these hormones.