Activation of Stat5 is frequently found in leukemias. To study the mechanism and role of Stat5 activation, we introduced a constitutively activated Stat5a mutant, cS5F, into murine bone marrow (BM) cells. BM transplantation with cS5F-transfected cells caused development of multilineage leukemias in lethally irradiated wild-type or nonirradiated Rag2(-/-) mice. The leukemic cells showed strongly enhanced levels of cS5F tetramers but unchanged cS5F dimer levels in a DNA binding assay. Moreover, Stat5a mutants engineered to form only dimers, but not tetramers, failed to induce leukemias. In addition, Stat5 tetramers were found to accumulate in excess compared to dimers in various human leukemias. These data suggest that Stat5 tetramers are associated with leukemogenesis.