Two independent cDNA clones encoding the erythropoietin receptor (EPO-R) were isolated from a pXM expression library made from uninduced murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells. The clones were identified by screening COS cell transfectants for binding and uptake of radioiodinated recombinant human erythropoietin. As inferred from the cDNA sequence, the murine erythropoietin receptor is a 507 amino acid polypeptide with a single membrane-spanning domain. It shows no similarities to known proteins or nucleic acid sequences in the data bases. Although the MEL cell EPO-R has a single affinity with a dissociation constant of approximately 240 pM, the EPO-R cDNA, expressed in COS cells, generates both a high-affinity (30 pM) and a low-affinity (210 pM) receptor.