Cadherins are cell adhesion molecules concentrated at intercellular adherens junctions, where they form a multiprotein complex with cytoplasmic catenins. Although cell-cell interactions affect many aspects of cell behavior, little is known about signaling pathways triggered by cadherin engagement. We show here that E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion leads to a rapid increase in tyrosine phosphorylation at sites of cell-cell contact and that this stimulation of tyrosine phosphorylation can be mimicked by aggregation of E-cadherin with antibodies. The proteins that become phosphorylated are distinct from those previously shown to be tyrosine phosphorylated in response to integrin-mediated adhesion and include ras-GAP. We also find that E-cadherin-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation is not required for the assembly of adherens-type junctions.