12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12(S)HETE) is a bioactive metabolite of arachidonic acid synthesized by 12-lipoxygenase. The 12-lipoxygenase blocker, baicalein, prevents epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced activation of protein kinase C (PKC) alpha and beta in lens epithelial cells, whereas supplementation with 12(S)HETE reverses this effect, suggesting that EGF and 12(S)HETE may work together to activate PKC. This study investigates the mechanism of PKCbeta activation by EGF and 12(S)HETE. 12(S)HETE alone directed translocation of PKCbeta through the C1 rather than the C2 domain, without activating phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) or MAPK signaling or increasing intracellular calcium concentration. In the presence of baicalein, EGF triggered an asymmetric phosphorylation of the EGF receptor initiating signaling through PI3K and MAPK, but not PLCgamma. Together, 12(S)HETE and EGF synergistically increased phosphorylation of PKCbeta in the activation loop and C terminus as well as PKCbeta-specific activity. PI3K inhibitors blocked phosphorylation, but MEK1 inhibitors did not. Microvesicles containing phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate mimicked the action of EGF on PKCbeta activity in the presence of 12(S)HETE. Kinase-inactive PKCbeta mutations in either activation loop or C terminus were effectively translocated by 12(S)HETE, as was PKCbeta in the presence of chelerythrine or Gö-6983. These findings indicate that unphosphorylated PKCbeta is translocated to the membrane by 12(S)HETE and phosphorylated by EGF-dependent PI3K signaling, to generate catalytically competent PKCbeta.