Endothelial cells release nitric oxide (NO) acutely in response to increased laminar fluid shear stress, and the increase is correlated with enhanced phosphorylation of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS). Phosphoamino acid analysis of eNOS from bovine aortic endothelial cells labeled with [(32)P]orthophosphate demonstrated that only phosphoserine was present in eNOS under both static and flow conditions. Fluid shear stress induced phosphate incorporation into two specific eNOS tryptic peptides as early as 30 s after initiation of flow. The flow-induced tryptic phosphopeptides were enriched, separated by capillary electrophoresis with intermittent voltage drops, also known as "peak parking," and analyzed by collision-induced dissociation in a tandem mass spectrometer. Two phosphopeptide sequences determined by tandem mass spectrometry, TQpSFSLQER and KLQTRPpSPGPPPAEQLLSQAR, were confirmed as the two flow-dependent phosphopeptides by co-migration with synthetic phosphopeptides. Because the sequence (RIR)TQpSFSLQER contains a consensus substrate site for protein kinase B (PKB or Akt), we demonstrated that LY294002, an inhibitor of the upstream activator of PKB, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, inhibited flow-induced eNOS phosphorylation by 97% and NO production by 68%. Finally, PKB phosphorylated eNOS in vitro at the same site phosphorylated in the cell and increased eNOS enzymatic activity by 15-20-fold.