Studies of proliferative signaling via type 1 cytokine receptors have revealed a three-step activation mechanism. Cytokine-induced receptor dimerization mediates the trans-phosphorylation of Jak kinases, Jaks phosphorylate receptors at tyrosine sites, and SH2 domain-encoding effectors then are recruited to these sites. Signaling factors that associate with activated erythropoietin (Epo) receptor complexes include phospholipase C-gamma, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, SHIP, Shc, Grb2, Cbl, Crk-l, HCP, Syp, and STAT5. While at least certain of these factors modulate proliferative signaling, mutated Epo receptor forms lacking Tyr(P) sites retain substantial mitogenic activity. Presently we show that a highly truncated Epo receptor form that retains box-1, yet lacks the conserved box-2 domain (and all Tyr(P) sites) nonetheless effectively promotes mitogenesis, survival, and Myc and Pim-1 expression. In addition, mitogenesis and Myc expression are shown to be supported by a direct Epo receptor-Jak2 kinase domain chimera. Thus, Epo-dependent mitogenesis and inhibition of apoptosis each depend critically upon only the Epo receptor box-1 domain, with no essential role exerted in these response pathways by the box-2 domain.