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Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a widely expressed nonreceptor protein-tyrosine kinase implicated in integrin-mediated signal transduction pathways and in the process of oncogenic transformation by v-Src. Elevation of FAK's phosphotyrosine content, following both cell adhesion to extracellular matrix substrata and cell transformation by Rous sarcoma virus, correlates directly with an increased kinase activity. To help elucidate the role of FAK phosphorylation in signal transduction events, we used a tryptic phosphopeptide mapping approach to identify tyrosine sites of phosphorylation responsive to both cell adhesion and Src transformation. We have identified four tyrosines, 397, 407, 576, and 577, which are phosphorylated in mouse BALB/3T3 fibroblasts in an adhesion-dependent manner. Tyrosine 397 has been previously recognized as the major site of FAK autophosphorylation. Phosphorylation of tyrosines 407, 576, and 577, which are previously unrecognized sites, is significantly elevated in the presence of c-Src in vitro and v-Src in vivo. Tyrosines 576 and 577 lie within catalytic subdomain VIII--a region recognized as a target for phosphorylation-mediated regulation of protein kinase activity. We found that maximal kinase activity of FAK immune complexes requires phosphorylation of both tyrosines 576 and 577. Our results indicate that phosphorylation of FAK by Src (or other Src family kinases) is an important step in the formation of an active signaling complex.