The development of erythroid progenitor cells depends upon exposure to the glycoprotein hormone, erythropoietin (EPO). Binding of EPO to its transmembrane receptor leads to the rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of several cellular targets including Shc, Raf-1, Gap120, the cloned EPO receptor (EPOR), pp100/97, and a M(r) 130,000 EPO-activated receptor-associated Janus protein tyrosine kinase, Jak2. A membrane-proximal cytosolic region of the EPOR recently has been shown to be essential for the activation of Jak2 and sufficient for EPO-induced mitogenesis. This cytosolic region includes 8-12 amino acid box 1 and box 2 subdomains, which are conserved in certain class I receptors as well as a more distal 10-40 amino acid subdomain (extended box 2 subdomain, ExBx2), which likewise is implicated in mitogenic signaling. Through the expression of EPOR carboxyl-terminal truncation mutants in FDC-P1 cells, we presently show that an EPOR form truncated within the ExBx2 domain efficiently activates Jak2, yet is deficient in mitogenesis. Efficient expression of this mutant receptor at the cell surface and its ability to activate Jak2 indicate that poor mitogenic activity does not result from aberrant transport or folding. Rather, failure of this mutant to support proliferation above nominal rates underlines an apparent role for the EPOR ExBx2 subdomain in the activation of a distinct primary mitogenic effector.