Phospholipase C gamma-catalyzed inositol phospholipid hydrolysis, a critical step in B cell antigen receptor signaling leading to second messenger generation and proliferation, depends upon tyrosine kinase activation. The B cell antigen receptor-associated tyrosine kinases p53/56lyn, p59fyn, p55blk, and p72syk are assumed to participate in receptor-initiated signaling. It is unknown, however, which of these kinases is involved in the tyrosine phosphorylation and resulting activation of phospholipase C gamma in response to antigen receptor cross-linking. We have used a fusion protein containing the tandem src homology-2 (SH2) domains of phospholipase C gamma 1 (PLC gamma 1) to identify B cell kinases which associate with PLC gamma 1. Using an in vitro kinase assay, we demonstrate SH2-dependent association of tyrosine kinase activity from anti-mu-stimulated B cells. The PLC gamma 1 SH2 domains associate with a prominent 70-72-kDa tyrosine phosphoprotein from anti-mu-stimulated, but not resting, B cells. Immunoblotting and secondary immunoprecipitation studies definitively identify this protein as p72syk. These results imply a physical interaction between PLC gamma 1 and p72syk in antigen receptor-stimulated B cells. This conclusion is confirmed by our ability to co-immunoprecipitate p72syk and PLC gamma 1 from lysates of anti-mu-stimulated B cells. These results implicate p72syk in the activation of phospholipase C gamma 1 during B cell antigen receptor signaling.