Chemoattractants directly stimulate the enzyme activity that synthesizes phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), phosphoinositol-4-monophosphate (PIP) kinase. The present study determined whether stimulation of this enzyme correlates with actin assembly by assessing the calcium dependence of this reaction. Incubation of neutrophils with 5 to 100 micrograms/ml Con A caused a concentration-dependent increase in PIP kinase activity ranging from 1.38- to 3.4-fold. The effective concentration which stimulated PIP kinase by 50% (17 micrograms/ml, EC50) corresponded with the EC50 for Con A-induced superoxide production (32 micrograms/ml). Like chemoattractants, the increase in PIP kinase by Con A was characterized by a 2.6-fold increase in the maximum velocity (Vmax) of the enzyme, and no change in the Km for ATP. The kinetics of FMLP- and Con A-induced filamentous actin formation preceded stimulation of PIP kinase and was sustained over the same time period that this increased enzyme activity was noted. Although transmembrane signaling by FMLP and Con A requires an increase in intracellular calcium for some polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) functional responses, calcium depletion of PMN by incubation with 100 microM Quin 2 A/M and 5 mM EGTA did not prevent the stimulation of PIP kinase by FMLP or Con A. In addition, calcium depletion did not prevent the increase in filamentous actin formation by FMLP and Con A in PMN. These findings demonstrate that Con A increases PIP kinase activity in human PMN and that PIP kinase stimulation and maintenance of actin assembly are independent of calcium fluxes in these cells. Because PIP2 controls the function of the actin-regulatory proteins, profilin and gelsolin, changes in the synthetic rate of PIP2 through regulation of PIP kinase may provide a molecular basis for the prolonged stimulation of actin assembly in human PMN by agonists such as Con A and FMLP.