Tyrosyl radicals cross-linked to protein tyrosine residues (tyrosylated proteins) represent hallmarks of neutrophil-mediated injury at the inflammatory locus. Yet the proteins targeted by tyrosyl radicals in an intact cellular system remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that tyrosyl radicals generated by human neutrophils after activation by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) or TNF-alpha could act in an autocrine manner by cross-linking to endogenous proteins. We have identified the tyrosylated proteins by using a membrane-impermeable tyrosine analogue, tyramine coupled to fluorescein (TyrFluo), in combination with proteomics techniques. Confocal microscopy images indicated that initially the tyrosylated proteins were localized in patches at the cell surface to become internalized subsequently. In the neutrophil membrane-associated proteome, lactoferrin was the prime target of tyrosylation. Out of three isoforms identified, an 80 kDa neutral isoform was tyrosylated more extensively than the 85 kD basic isoform, particularly after PMA activation. Although all three stimuli induced tyrosylation of the filamentous component vimentin, additional tyrosylated vimentin fragments were detected after IFN-gamma- and TNF-alpha-stimulation. Moreover, upon activation the bulk of vimentin behaved as a dimer (M(r) 120 kDa) being slightly tyrosylated, yet phosphorylated at Thr-425 possibly as a requirement for its externalization. Unexpectedly, bovine catalase added to end tyrosyl radicals formation was detected as a highly tyrosylated neutrophil-associated protein. A moderate stimulus-dependent tyrosylation of ATP synthase-beta, alpha-enolase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, cytokeratin-10, filamin-A, and annexin-I was also observed. When the membrane-permeable probe (acetylTyrFluo) was used, protein tyrosylation was not observed indicating that the intracellular proteins were well protected against oxidative attack. This study shows that human neutrophils can modulate their proteome via a tyrosine oxidation pathway induced by pro-inflammatory mediators.