Primary familial and congenital polycythaemia (PFCP) is a rare disease characterized by congenital erythrocytosis inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion. Recently, mutations in the erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) have been identified in PFCP families. We describe a Japanese family with an autosomal dominant inheritance of PFCP. An in vitro colony assay demonstrated hypersensitivity of erythroid progenitors to erythropoietin (Epo) in affected family members. Sequence analysis of RT-PCR products amplified from the C-terminal region of EpoR transcripts in affected family members revealed that they were all heterozygous for C and T bases at position 5986, which suggested a genetic mutation (C to T) on one allele of EpoR. This mutation gave rise to a translation termination codon TAG at amino acid 435. Thus, the resulting EpoR is a truncated protein product lacking all 74 amino acids downstream of the mutation. To date, all genetic mutations affecting a family with PFCP, including this one, have been located in the cytoplasmic negative regulatory region of the EpoR. All mutations gave rise to truncated Epo receptors between Tyrosine 427 and Tyrosine 455. The phosphotyrosines in this region of EpoR have been demonstrated to be binding sites for SHP-1 phosphatase. Therefore PFCP is presumably brought about as a result of genetic mutations which cause the loss of the SHP-1 binding site in the cytoplasmic region of EpoR.