Two novel sites of autophosphorylation were localized to the C-terminal tail of the PDGF beta-receptor. To evaluate the importance of these phosphorylation sites, receptor mutants in which Tyr1009, Tyr1021 or both were replaced with phenylalanine residues, were expressed in porcine aortic endothelial (PAE) cells. These mutants were similar to the wild type receptor with regard to protein tyrosine kinase activity and ability to induce mitogenicity in response to PDGF-BB. However, both the Y1009F and Y1021F mutants showed a decreased ability to mediate association with and the tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-gamma (PLC-gamma) compared to the wild type PDGF beta-receptor; in the case of the Y1009F/Y1021F double mutant, no association or phosphorylation of PLC-gamma could be detected. These data show that tyrosine phosphorylation of PLC-gamma is dependent on autophosphorylation of the PDGF beta-receptor at Tyr1009 and Tyr1021.