Herein, we report the first evidence that c-SRC is required for retinoic acid (RA) receptor (RAR) signaling, an observation that suggests a new paradigm for this family of nuclear hormone receptors. We observed that CSK negatively regulates RAR functions required for neuritogenic differentiation. CSK overexpression inhibited RA-mediated neurite outgrowth, a result which correlated with the inhibition of the SFK c-SRC. Consistent with an extranuclear effect of CSK on RAR signaling and neurite outgrowth, CSK overexpression blocked the downstream activation of RAC1. The conversion of GDP-RAC1 to GTP-RAC1 parallels the activation of c-SRC as early as 15 min following all-trans-retinoic acid treatment in LA-N-5 cells. The cytoplasmic colocalization of c-SRC and RARgamma was confirmed by immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy. A direct and ligand-dependent binding of RAR with SRC was observed by surface plasmon resonance, and coimmunoprecipitation studies confirmed the in vivo binding of RARgamma to c-SRC. Deletion of a proline-rich domain within RARgamma abrogated this interaction in vivo. CSK blocked the RAR-RA-dependent activation of SRC and neurite outgrowth in LA-N-5 cells. The results suggest that transcriptional signaling events mediated by RA-RAR are necessary but not sufficient to mediate complex differentiation in neuronal cells. We have elucidated a nongenomic extranuclear signal mediated by the RAR-SRC interaction that is negatively regulated by CSK and is required for RA-induced neuronal differentiation.