T cell activation rapidly and transiently regulates the functional activity of integrin receptors. Stimulation of CD3/T cell receptor, CD2 or CD28, as well as activation with phorbol esters, can induce within minutes an increase in β1 integrin-mediated adhesion of T cells to fibronectin. In this study, we have produced and utilized a mutant of the Jurkat T cell line, designated A1, that lacks protein and mRNA expression of the β1 integrin subunit but retains normal levels of CD2, CD3, and CD28 on the cell surface. Activation-dependent adhesion of A1 cells to fibronectin could be restored upon transfection of a wild-type human β1 integrin cDNA. Adhesion induced by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-, CD3-, CD2-, and CD28 stimulation did not occur if the carboxy-terminal five amino acids of the β1 tail were truncated or if either of two well-conserved NPXY motifs were deleted. Scanning alanine substitutions of the carboxy-terminal five amino acids demonstrated a critical role for the tyrosine residue at position 795. The carboxy-terminal truncation and the NPXY deletions also reduced adhesion induced by direct stimulation of the β1 integrin with the activating β1 integrin-specific mAb TS2/16, although the effects were not as dramatic as observed with the other integrin-activating signals. These results demonstrate a vital role for the amino-terminal NPXY motif and the carboxy-terminal end of the β1 integrin cytoplasmic domain in activation-dependent regulation of integrin-mediated adhesion in T cells. Furthermore, the A1 cell line represents a valuable new cellular reagent for the analysis of β1 integrin structure and function in human T cells.