Association of pp60v-src with the plasma membrane is fundamental to generation of the transformed phenotype. Although myristylation of pp60v-src is required for interaction with a membrane-bound receptor, the importance of NH2-terminal amino acids in receptor binding has not yet been uncoupled from their role in signaling myristylation. Using chimeric src proteins, peptides identical or related to the NH2 terminus of src, and site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrate that NH2-terminal lysines in conjunction with myristate are essential for membrane localization. Subsequent to NH2-terminal interaction with the "src receptor," internal regions of the src protein also participate in membrane binding. This novel NH2-terminal motif and internal contact mechanism may direct other members of the src family of tyrosine kinases to their membrane receptors.

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