Interleukin 6 (IL-6) has been shown to be a key growth factor for myeloma cells. To study IL-6 signal transduction in multiple myeloma (MM), we employed chimeric receptors composed of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) extracellular domain, gp130 transmembrane domain, and full-length or truncated gp130 cytoplasmic domains lacking regions previously shown to be necessary for MAPK, STAT1, and STAT3 activation. The IL-6-dependent KAS-6/1 MM cell line was transfected with various chimeric receptor constructs and assayed for EGF responsiveness. EGF stimulation surprisingly stimulated DNA synthesis in all transfectants, regardless of receptor length. When cell proliferation was assayed instead, only transfectants capable of inducing high levels of STAT3 activation proliferated in response to EGF. Additional studies revealed that EGF stimulation resulted in tyrosine phosphorylation of endogenous gp130 in cells expressing the chimeric receptor. Replacing the gp130 transmembrane region with the EGFR transmembrane domain diminished but did not disrupt this interaction. This receptor interaction was also observed in the IL-6-dependent MM cell line ANBL-6. In summary, although our results suggest that STAT activation is crucial in gp130-mediated proliferation of myeloma cells, these results must be interpreted with caution given our demonstration of the interaction between chimeric and endogenous receptors in myeloma cells. Importantly, this interaction has not been noted in studies utilizing the same gp130 chimeric receptor system in non-MM cells.