Effects of corticotropin-(1–24)-tetracosapeptide on the endogenous phosphorylation of proteins and lipids were studied in a membrane/cytosol fraction prepared from a lysed crude mitochondrial/synaptosomal fraction. 2. The labelling of proteins and lipids was monitored by incubation of the subcellular fraction for 10s with [gamma-32P]ATP. 3. The phosphorylation of proteins was dose-dependently inhibited by the peptide (40% of control incubations at 100 microM-corticotropin). 4. Of the membrane phospholipids only phosphatidylinositol phosphate, phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate and phosphatidic acid became labelled. Corticotropin dose-dependently increased the formation of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate and inhibited the production of phosphatidic acid (470% and 50% respectively of control incubations, at 100 microM of the peptide) and had no effect on phosphatidylinositol phosphate. 5. Phosphatase activity was observed to act on phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate, phosphatidylinositol phosphate and phosphoprotein but not on phosphatidic acid. 6. Corticotropin interacted with the kinases rather than with the phosphatases. 7. The formation of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate and phosphatidic acid was maximal at 1–10mM-Mg2+ in the absence of Ca2+, and the production of phosphatidylinositol phosphate was maximal at 30mM-Mg2+. 8. The basal value of lipid phosphorylation decreased with increasing Ca2+ concentration. 9. Ca2+ abolished the effect of corticotropin on phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate formation (470%, 190% and 100% of control incubations at respectively 0, 0.1 and 1 mM-Ca2+). 10. The data provide evidence that the effects of corticotropin on protein phosphorylation and on polyphosphoinositide metabolism in brain membranes are related.