Three members of the Src family of tyrosine kinases [pp60c-src (Src), p59fyn (Fyn) and pp62c-yes (Yes)] are ubiquitously expressed, and are thus likely to have general roles in growth control. We have previously shown that, after addition of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) to quiescent cells, all three kinases become activated and associated with the PDGF receptor. We have now addressed the requirements for this association. First, we have used a baculovirus expression system to show that Fyn associates with the activated PDGF receptor in vitro in the absence of other proteins, demonstrating that the association between the two molecules is direct. Second, by generating cell lines expressing chimeric molecules consisting of Fyn sequences fused to a portion of beta-galactosidase, we found that the SH2 domain of Fyn is necessary for ligand-stimulated association with the PDGF receptor in vivo. Third, those fusion proteins that associated with the PDGF receptor also became phosphorylated in vivo following PDGF treatment, and in in vitro kinase assays, suggesting that the amino-terminal half of Fyn contains the sites of PDGF-stimulated phosphorylation. Partially purified, kinase-negative Fyn also became phosphorylated in the activated PDGF receptor complex in vitro, demonstrating that the PDGF receptor phosphorylates Fyn, rather than the novel phosphorylations occurring by autophosphorylation.