PtdIns5P 4-kinases IIalpha and IIbeta are cytosolic and nuclear respectively when transfected into cells, including DT40 cells [Richardson, Wang, Clarke, Patel and Irvine (2007) Cell. Signalling 19, 1309-1314]. In the present study we have genomically tagged both type II PtdIns5P 4-kinase isoforms in DT40 cells. Immunoprecipitation of either isoform from tagged cells, followed by MS, revealed that they are associated directly with each other, probably by heterodimerization. We quantified the cellular levels of the type II PtdIns5P 4-kinase mRNAs by real-time quantitative PCR and the absolute amount of each isoform in immunoprecipitates by MS using selective reaction monitoring with 14N,13C-labelled internal standard peptides. The results suggest that the dimerization is complete and random, governed solely by the relative concentrations of the two isoforms. Whereas PtdIns5P 4-kinase IIbeta is >95% nuclear, as expected, the distribution of PtdIns4P 4-kinase IIalpha is 60% cytoplasmic (all bound to membranes) and 40% nuclear. In vitro, PtdIns5P 4-kinase IIalpha was 2000-fold more active as a PtdIns5P 4-kinase than the IIbeta isoform. Overall the results suggest a function of PtdIns5P 4-kinase IIbeta may be to target the more active IIalpha isoform into the nucleus.