The shear stress-induced transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) confers antiinflammatory properties to endothelial cells through the inhibition of activator protein 1, presumably by interfering with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. To gain insight into the regulation of these cascades by KLF2, we used antibody arrays in combination with time-course mRNA microarray analysis. No gross changes in MAPKs were detected; rather, phosphorylation of actin cytoskeleton-associated proteins, including focal adhesion kinase, was markedly repressed by KLF2. Furthermore, we demonstrate that KLF2-mediated inhibition of Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) and its downstream targets ATF2/c-Jun is dependent on the cytoskeleton. Specifically, KLF2 directs the formation of typical short basal actin filaments, termed shear fibers by us, which are distinct from thrombin- or tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced stress fibers. KLF2 is shown to be essential for shear stress-induced cell alignment, concomitant shear fiber assembly, and inhibition of JNK signaling. These findings link the specific effects of shear-induced KLF2 on endothelial morphology to the suppression of JNK MAPK signaling in vascular homeostasis via novel actin shear fibers.