A phosphorylated glycoprotein was purified from the mixture of proteins extracted by demineralization of rat bone with 0.5 M EDTA in 4 M guanidinium chloride. A high level of purity for the preparation was indicated by a single band on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-gradient gel electrophoresis, sedimentation equilibrium ultracentrifugal data, and by automated Edman degradation results. The molecular weight of the phosphoprotein was shown to be about 44,000 by sedimentation equilibrium analyses in 4 M guanidinium chloride, even though an Mr of 75,000 was obtained by 5-15% SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Subsequent analysis by 15% SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gave an Mr of 45,000. Analytical data showed that the protein contained 16.6% carbohydrate, possibly including 1 N-linked oligosaccharide and 5-6 O-linked oligosaccharides. The aspartic acid- and glutamic acid-rich protein contained about 300 amino acid residues including 1 phosphothreonine and 12 phosphoserine residues. Alkaline beta-elimination/NaBH4 reduction data showed that the phosphate obtained by complete acid hydrolysis prior to amino acid analysis was equivalent to the phosphate subject to alkaline beta-elimination. In this experiment, the losses of serine plus threonine exceeded the amount of phosphate liberated by 5-6 residues/protein. These serine and threonine residues probably represent O-linked oligosaccharides, since the protein contained about this number of N-acetyl-galactosamine residues. That the phosphoprotein is synthesized and secreted by osteoblast-like cells was shown with cultures of clonal rat osteosarcoma cells. After pulsing with 32PO4 the proteins secreted into the medium were precipitated with trichloroacetic acid and the radiolabeled proteins were immunoadsorbed. A protein migrating in the same position, on 5-15% SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (i.e. with an Mr = 75,000) and on 15% gels (Mr = 45,000), as the phosphoprotein obtained from bone could be specifically immunoprecipitated.