The Abelson murine leukemia virus transforming gene product is a phosphorylated protein encoded by both viral and cellular sequences. This gene product has an amino-terminal region derived from the gag gene of its parent virus and a carboxyl-terminal region of (abl) derived from a normal murine cellular gene. Using a combination of partial proteolytic cleavage techniques and antisera specific for gag and abl sequences, we mapped in vivo phosphorylation sites to different regions of the protein. Phosphoproteins encoded by strain variants and transformation-defective mutants of Abelson murine leukemia virus with defined deletions in the primary sequence of the abl region were compared by two dimensional limit digest peptide mapping. Specific phosphorylation pattern differences for wild-type and mutant proteins probably represented deletions of specific phosphate acceptor sites in the abl region. An in vitro autophosphorylation activity copurified with the Abelson murine leukemia virus protein from transformation-competent strains. A peptide analysis of such in vitro reactions demonstrated that these phosphorylation sites were restricted to the amino-terminal region, and the specific sites appeared to be unrelated to the sites found on proteins phosphorylated in vivo. Thus, the autophosphorylation reaction probably correlates with an activity important in transformation, but the specific end product in vitro bears little resemblance to its function in vivo.