The ansamycin antibiotic, herbimycin A, selectively inactivates cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases, most likely by binding irreversibly to the reactive SH group(s) of kinases. To further investigate the mechanism of herbimycin A action, we attempted to label tyrosine kinases with [14C]herbimycin A. p60v-src and p210BCR-ABL in immune complexes were labeled with [14C]herbimycin A, demonstrating that the antibiotic binds directly to tyrosine kinases. Digestion of [14C]herbimycin A-labeled p60v-src with Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease revealed that the herbimycin A binding site is within the C-terminal 26-kDa fragment of p60v-src, which contains the tyrosine kinase domain. Herbimycin A treatment inhibited labeling of p60v-src by [14C]fluorosulfonylbenzoyl adenosine, an affinity labeling reagent of nucleotide binding sites, indicating that herbimycin A-modified p60v-src cannot interact with ATP. The results suggest that herbimycin A inactivates tyrosine kinases by binding directly to the kinase domain, thereby inhibiting access to ATP.