The activity and subcellular distribution of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A were measured in chicken forebrain and cerebellum during post-hatch development. At all post-hatch ages, a large proportion of PP1 and PP2A was membrane bound and these enzymes were less active than their cytosolic counterparts. The protein concentration of PP1 in the membranes increased 40% between 2 and 14 days and a further 60% between 14 days and adult, whereas the PP1 enzyme activity in the membranes progressively decreased. In contrast to PP1, the protein concentration of PP2A remained constant in all fractions during post-hatch development, and the enzyme activity of PP2A did not change except for a decrease in the membrane-bound activity between 2 and 14 days. These results show that the subcellular distribution and activity of PP1 is selectively regulated during post-hatch development and that membrane association and inactivation of PP1 are independent events.