Abstract 32D Epo and 32D GM cells are subclones of the murine 32D cell line which are selectively dependent for proliferation and survival on erythropoietin (Epo) or granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), respectively. 32D GM cells were previously shown to express significant levels of the Epo receptor mRNA and protein which was retained intracellularly and did not appear on the cell surface. We have now analyzed the EpoR mRNA from the 32D GM line, using PCR followed by direct sequencing. Several alternatively spliced products were detected. In some molecules, intron 5 (I5) or part of 16 or both were retained. Retention of I5 results in a mRNA potentially encoding an almost complete extracellular domain, while retention of 16 gives rise to a mRNA encoding the complete extracellular and transmembrane domains. A different type of splicing results in the loss of exon 5 (E5), giving rise to a sequence encoding a truncated extracellular domain. These alternatively spliced sequences are differentially represented in 32D Epo versus 32D GM cells. All are additionally present in normal bone marrow cells. Apart from these alternatively spliced EpoR RNAs, no other abnormalities were detected in EpoR RNA from 32D GM cells that could account for the intracellular retention of EpoR in the non-erythroid subclones of 32D.