Interleukin-6 (IL-6), leukemia inhibitory factor, oncostatin M, interleukin-11, and ciliary neurotrophic factor bind to receptor complexes that share the signal transducer gp 130. Upon binding, the ligands rapidly activate DNA binding of acute-phase response factor (APRF), a protein antigenically related to the p91 subunit of the interferon-stimulated gene factor-3 alpha (ISGF-3 alpha). These cytokines caused tyrosine phosphorylation of APRF and ISGF-3 alpha p91. Protein kinases of the Jak family were also rapidly tyrosine phosphorylated, and both APRF and Jak1 associated with gp130. These data indicate that Jak family protein kinases may participate in IL-6 signaling and that APRF may be activated in a complex with gp130.