Two cytosolic tyrosine kinases, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the newly described FAK homolog, related adhesion focal tyrosine kinase (RAFTK, also called PYK2 and CAKbeta), have been implicated in signaling to multiple mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. Therefore, the ability of NaCl and urea to activate these kinases was investigated by in vitro kinase assay and anti-phosphotyrosine immunoblotting. RAFTK was promptly but only transiently activated by urea (within 1 min; 45%), whereas NaCl activated this kinase at 1, 5, 15, and 30 min of treatment (35-60%). In contrast, FAK exhibited only subtle regulation by the two solutes; however, the time course of induction was distinct for each solute. NaCl activated FAK at 1, 5, and 15 min (25-40%), whereas urea-inducible FAK activation (30%) was not evident until fully 15 min of treatment. At 5 min of treatment with increasing concentrations of solute, both urea and NaCl activated RAFTK in a dose-dependent and comparable fashion, culminating in an approximately twofold activation at 800 mosmol/kgH2O solute. Consistent with these data, solute treatment also enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of RAFTK.