Our laboratory is interested in understanding the regulation of NADPH oxidase activity in human monocyte/macrophages. Protein kinase C (PKC) is reported to be involved in regulating the phosphorylation of NADPH oxidase components in human neutrophils; however, the regulatory roles of specific isoforms of PKC in phosphorylating particular oxidase components have not been determined. In this study calphostin C, an inhibitor for both novel PKC (including PKCdelta, -epsilon, -theta;, and -eta) and conventional PKC (including PKCalpha and -beta), inhibited both phosphorylation and translocation of p47phox, an essential component of the monocyte NADPH oxidase. In contrast, GF109203X, a selective inhibitor of classical PKC and PKCepsilon, did not affect the phosphorylation or translocation of p47phox, suggesting that PKCdelta, -theta;, or -eta is required. Furthermore, rottlerin (at doses that inhibit PKCdelta activity) inhibited the phosphorylation and translocation of p47phox. Rottlerin also inhibited O2 production at similar doses. In addition to pharmacological inhibitors, PKCdelta-specific antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides were used. PKCdelta antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides inhibited the phosphorylation and translocation of p47phox in activated human monocytes. We also show, using the recombinant p47phox-GST fusion protein, that p47phox can serve as a substrate for PKCdelta in vitro. Furthermore, lysate-derived PKCdelta from activated monocytes phosphorylated p47phox in a rottlerin-sensitive manner. Together, these data suggest that PKCdelta plays a pivotal role in stimulating monocyte NADPH oxidase activity through its regulation of the phosphorylation and translocation of p47phox.