1. A neurofilament-enriched preparation from bovine spinal cord contains endogenous protein kinases that phosphorylate high, middle, and low molecular weight neurofilament subunits (NF-H, NF-M, and NF-L), as well as certain other endogenous and exogenous substrates. 2. Most of this associated kinase activity can be separated from the neurofilament subunits and the bulk of the protein by extraction of the neurofilament preparation with 0.8 M KCl. Assays using specific exogenous substrates, activators, and inhibitors for known kinases reveal significant levels of Ca2(+)-calmodulin-dependent, cyclic nucleotide-dependent, Ca2(+)-phosphatidylserine diglyceride-dependent, and regulator-independent kinase activities in the high-salt extract. 3. Fractionation of the salt extract on a gel filtration column resolves a regulator-independent kinase activity identified by its ability to phosphorylate purified NF-M. This preparation can phosphorylate all three neurofilament proteins either in purified form or in the assembled form, as well as alpha-casein. Only the regulator-independent kinase activity in this fraction is responsible for the phosphorylation of neurofilament proteins. 4. While this partially purified kinase activity does not show a strong substrate specificity between the three neurofilament subunits, the phosphorylation pattern it produces upon incubation with salt-extracted neurofilaments is similar to the regulator-independent phosphorylation pattern found in the original neurofilament preparation and, thus, represents a useful starting point for the further purification of this neurofilament-associated kinase activity.