Erythropoietin is the primary physiological regulator of erythropoiesis; however, in vitro studies have identified another class of mediators which appear to be important in stimulating erythroid progenitors. These factors have generally been referred to as burst-promoting activities (BPA), because they stimulate the growth of early erythroid progenitors referred to as burst-forming units-erythroid (BFU-E) which give rise to colonies of up to thousands of haemoglobinized cells. We recently reported purification of a burst-promoting activity from medium conditioned by the Mo T-lymphoblast cell line infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type II (HTLV-II). This purified glycoprotein of relative molecular mass (Mr) 28,000 also stimulates colony formation by more mature erythroid precursors (CFU-E) and is therefore referred to as erythroid-potentiating activity (EPA). Purified EPA specifically stimulates human and murine cells of the erythroid lineage, unlike murine interleukin-3 (IL-3) which stimulates precursor cells from all haematopoietic lineages. We report here the isolation of a complementary DNA molecular clone encoding EPA and its use in producing EPA in COS (monkey) cells and CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cells. We also define the organization of the EPA gene in human DNA.