Erythropoietin (EPO) specifically activates the Janus kinase JAK2 and the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription-5 (STAT5). All members of the STAT family are tyrosine phosphorylated in response to cytokine stimulation at a conserved carboxy-terminal tyrosine, Y694, in the case of STAT5. To determine structural features important for STAT signaling, we generated an activation-specific STAT5 antibody using a phosphopeptide containing amino acids 687 to 698 of STAT5 as antigen. This antibody specifically recognizes tyrosine- phosphorylated STAT5 but not nonphosphorylated STAT5. In immunoprecipitation reactions from cell lines and primary erythroblasts, 2 distinct polyclonal activation-specific STAT5 antibodies selectively immunoprecipitate the tyrosine phosphorylated EPO receptor (EPO-R) in addition to STAT5 under native and denaturing conditions. We propose that the activation-specific STAT5 antibody recognizes the 2 substrates to which the STAT5 SH2 domain interacts, namely, the tyrosine- phosphorylated EPO-R and STAT5 itself. Several studies have implicated EPO-R Y343, Y401, Y431, and Y479 in the recruitment of STAT5. Using a series of EPO-R tyrosine mutants expressed in Ba/F3 cells, we have shown that the activation-specific STAT5 antibody immunoprecipitates an EPO-R containing only 2 tyrosines at positions 343 and 401, confirming the importance of these tyrosines in STAT5 recruitment. These data uncover a novel aspect of STAT SH2 domain recognition and demonstrate the utility of activation-specific antibodies for examining the specificity of STAT-cytokine receptor interactions.