The phosphorylation-dephosphorylation of serine and threonine residues of calponin is known to modulate in vitro its interaction with F-actin and is thought to regulate several biological processes in cells, involving either of the calponin isoforms. Here, we identify, for the first time, tyrosine-phosphorylated calponin h3 within COS 7 cells, before and after their transfection with the pSV vector containing cDNA encoding the cytoplasmic, Src-related, tyrosine kinase, Fyn. We then describe the specific tyrosine phosphorylation in vitro of calponin h1 and calponin h3 by this kinase. 32P-labeling of tyrosine residues was monitored by combined autoradiography, immunoblotting with a specific phosphotyrosine monoclonal antibody and dephosphorylation with the phosphotyrosine-specific protein phosphatase, YOP. PhosphorImager analyses showed the incorporation of maximally 1.4 and 2.0 mol of 32P per mol of calponin h3 and calponin h1, respectively. As a result, 75% and 68%, respectively, of binding to F-actin was lost by the phosphorylated calponins. Furthermore, F-actin, added at a two- or 10-fold molar excess, did not protect, but rather increased, the extent of 32P-labeling in both calponins. Structural analysis of the tryptic phosphopeptides from each 32P-labeled calponin revealed a single, major 32P-peptide in calponin h3, with Tyr261 as the phosphorylation site. Tyr261 was also phosphorylated in calponin h1, together with Tyr182. Collectively, the data point to the potential involvement, at least in living nonmuscle cells, of tyrosine protein kinases and the conserved Tyr261, located in the third repeat motif of the calponin molecule, in a new level of regulation of the actin–calponin interaction.