Sp1, the first identified and cloned transcription factor, regulates gene expression via multiple mechanisms including direct protein-DNA interactions, protein-protein interactions, chromatin remodeling, and maintenance of methylation-free CpG islands. Sp1 is itself regulated at different levels, for example, by glycosylation, acetylation, and phosphorylation by kinases such as the atypical protein kinase C-ζ. Although Sp1 controls the basal and inducible regulation of many genes, the posttranslational processes regulating its function and their relevance to pathology are not well understood. Here we have used a variety of approaches to identify 3 amino acids (Thr668, Ser670, and Thr681) in the zinc finger domain of Sp1 that are modified by PKC-ζ and have generated novel anti-peptide antibodies recognizing the PKC-ζ-phosphorylated form of Sp1. Angiotensin II, which activates PKC-ζ phosphorylation (at Thr410) via the angiotensin II type 1 receptor, stimulates Sp1 phosphorylation and increases Sp1 binding to the platelet-derived growth factor-D promoter. All 3 residues in Sp1 (Thr668, Ser670, and Thr681) are required for Sp1-dependent platelet-derived growth factor-D activation in response to angiotensin II. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that phosphorylated Sp1 is expressed in smooth muscle cells of human atherosclerotic plaques and is dynamically expressed together with platelet-derived growth factor-D in smooth muscle cells of the injured rat carotid artery wall. This study provides new insights into the regulatory mechanisms controlling the PKC-ζ-phospho-Sp1 axis and angiotensin II-inducible gene expression.