Activating mutations of c-kit at codon 816 (Asp(816)) have been identified in variety of malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), mastocytosis and germ cell tumors. The mutant c-Kit receptor confers cytokine independence and induces tumorigenicity. However, the molecular mechanisms, particularly the changes in the signal transduction pathways, responsible for these biological effects induced by mutant c-Kit are largely undefined. Using the human embryonic kidney cell line, 293, we show in the current report that constitutive activation of STAT3 and STAT1 is associated with D816H mutant c-Kit. Transfection of dominant negative STAT3, but not STAT1 inhibits mutant c-Kit mediated anchorage-independent growth in vitro and tumor formation in vivo. Expression of constitutively activated STAT3 restores the mutant c-Kit receptor's transforming ability in 293 cells. These results demonstrate that activation of STAT3 by Asp(816) mutant c-Kit is required for the anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenicity induced by Asp(816) mutant c-Kit.