Although the Src family tyrosine kinase Lck is essential for T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, whether or how Lck is activated is unknown. Using a phosphospecific antiserum to Lck, we show here that Lck becomes autophosphorylated when T cells are stimulated by antigen-presenting cells (APCs). We found that TCR cross-linking alone could not stimulate Lck autophosphorylation and CD45 was not required for this process. Instead, the T cell accessory molecules CD4 and CD28 cooperated to induce autophosphorylation of Lck. CD4 recruited Lck to the T cell-APC interface, whereas CD28 sustained Lck activation. These data show how the multiple interactions afforded by the immunological synapse drive efficient and highly specific signaling.