The RL cell line is an EBV-negative, surface IgM, IgD-positive B lymphoma line, which is significantly growth arrested in the presence of acrylamide-linked antibodies to the surface IgM receptor. We demonstrate here that activation of protein kinase C (PKC) with PMA abrogates anti-IgM-induced phosphoinositide turnover and Ca2+ mobilization; however, growth inhibition is not affected. In addition, inhibitors of PKC are unable to reverse the anti-IgM-mediated growth inhibition. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis reveals a different pattern of protein phosphorylation after treatment of RL with PMA or anti-IgM. These data strongly suggest that anti-IgM-induced growth inhibition does not rely on phospholipase C-mediated phosphoinositide turnover, Ca2+ mobilization, or PKC activation. On the other hand, the phosphatase inhibitor orthovanadate results in an augmentation of proteins phosphorylated on tyrosine and the growth inhibition which follows anti-IgM treatment. Furthermore, protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors, genistein and herbimycin A, are able to reverse the anti-IgM-induced inhibition of growth. These data demonstrate that multiple signaling pathways are activated by the interaction of anti-IgM with its ligand, and suggest that tyrosine kinase activation is a critical component of the inhibitory response.