Structure of growth-hormone receptor and the class I type of cytokine receptors: common structural features; cytokine-receptor isoforms; oligomerization of receptor components initiates cytokine signalling. Role of the Jak kinases in mediating specific functions of growth-hormone receptor and cytokine receptors. Role of signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat) proteins in growth hormone and cytokine functions. Other pathways activated by cytokine receptors: the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway; insulin-receptor substrates 1 and 2 and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathways; the Src pathways and other tyrosine kinase pathways; the phospholipase C/protein kinase C/Ca2+ pathways. Regulation of growth-hormone receptor and cytokine receptor signaling: binding sites, internalization and ubiquitination; phosphatases and Janus kinase/Stat inhibitors. Conclusions and future prospects.