The superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase complex of phagocytic cells is a multicomponent system containing a membrane-bound flavocytochrome b and a small G protein Rac as well as cytosolic factors p67(phox) (phagocyte oxidase), p47(phox), and p40(phox), which translocate to the membrane upon activation. In a previous paper, we reported that p40(phox) undergoes phosphorylation on multiple sites upon stimulation of the NADPH oxidase by either phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate or by formyl peptide with a time course that is strongly correlated with that of superoxide production (Fuchs, A., Bouin, A. P., Rabilloud, T., and Vignais, P. V. (1997) Eur. J. Biochem. 249, 531-539). In this study, through phosphoamino acid and tryptic peptide maps of in vivo and in vitro phosphorylated p40(phox), we show that p40(phox) is phosphorylated on serine and threonine residues during activation of the NADPH oxidase in dimethyl sulfoxide-differentiated HL60 promyelocytes as well as in isolated human neutrophils. In vitro phosphorylation studies using casein kinase II and protein kinase C (PKC) as well as the effect of various protein kinase inhibitors on the isoelectric focusing pattern of p40(phox) in whole cell lysates point to a role of a PKC type kinase in the phosphorylation of p40(phox). Directed mutagenesis of all PKC consensus sites enable us to conclude that Thr154 and Ser315 in p40(phox) are phosphorylated during activation of the NADPH oxidase.