By searching a database of expressed sequences, we identified a member of the signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat) family of proteins. Human and murine full-length cDNA clones were obtained and sequenced. The sequence of the human cDNA was identical to the recently published sequence for interleukin-4 (IL-4)-Stat (J. Hou, U. Schindler, W.J. Henzel, T.C. Ho, M. Brasseur, and S. L. McKnight, Science 265:1701-1706, 1994), while the murine Stat6 amino acid and nucleotide sequences were 83 and 84% identical to the human sequences, respectively. Using Stat6-specific antiserum, we demonstrated that Stat6 is rapidly tyrosine phosphorylated following stimulation of appropriate cell lines with IL-4 or IL-3 but is not detectably phosphorylated following stimulation with IL-2, IL-12, or erythropoietin. In contrast, IL-2, IL-3, and erythropoietin induce the tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat5 while IL-12 uniquely induces the tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat4. Inducible tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat6 requires the membrane-distal region of the IL-4 receptor alpha chain. This region of the receptor is not required for cell growth, demonstrating that Stat6 tyrosine phosphorylation does not contribute to mitogenesis.