The colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R) mediates its pleiotropic effects through the coupling of its ligand-activated tyrosine kinase to multiple intracellular effector proteins, whose combined actions determine the magnitude and specificity of the biological response. The interaction of cytoplasmic signalling molecules with CSF-1R is mediated in part by sequence motifs flanking sites of receptor tyrosine phosphorylation. Mutation of an autophosphorylation site at tyrosine 809 in the cytoplasmic domain of human CSF-1R does not significantly reduce its ligand-stimulated tyrosine kinase activity, binding to phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, or induction of the immediate early response genes, c-fos and junB (ref.2). Unlike cells bearing wild-type receptors, mouse NIH3T3 cells expressing mutant CSF-1R(Phe 809) were unable to grow in serum-free medium containing human recombinant CSF-1 and did not form colonies in semi-solid medium in its presence. CSF-1 induction of c-myc messenger RNA in these cells was impaired, but enforced expression of an exogenous c-myc gene restored their ability to proliferate in response to the growth factor. These studies demonstrate a receptor-mediated bifurcation of intracellular signal transduction pathways during the immediate early response and assign a central role for c-myc in CSF-1-induced mitogenesis.