A synthetic peptide patterned after the sequence of the inactivating "ball" domain of the Shaker B K(+) channel restores fast (N-type) inactivation in mutant deletion channels lacking their constitutive ball domains, as well as in K(+) channels that do not normally inactivate. We now report on the effect of phosphorylation at a single tyrosine in position 8 of the inactivating peptide both on its ability to restore fast channel inactivation in deletion mutant channels and on the conformation adopted by the phosphorylated peptide when challenged by anionic lipid vesicles, a model target mimicking features of the inactivation site in the channel protein. We find that the inactivating peptide phosphorylated at Y8 behaves functionally as well as structurally as the noninactivating mutant carrying the mutation L7E. Moreover, it is observed that the inactivating peptide can be phosphorylated by the Src tyrosine kinase either as a free peptide in solution or when forming part of the membrane-bound protein channel as the constitutive inactivating domain. These findings suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation-dephosphorylation of this inactivating ball domain could be of physiological relevance to rapidly interconvert fast-inactivating channels into delayed rectifiers and vice versa.