Increased activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-5 has been reported in various malignancies including mammary carcinoma. However, it is only recently that potentially distinct roles of STAT5A and STAT5B in neoplasia have begun to emerge. Herein we systematically delineate the functions of STAT5A and STAT5B in human mammary carcinoma cell lines MCF-7 and T47D. Forced expression of constitutively active (CA) STAT5A enhanced both survival and anchorage-independent growth of human mammary carcinoma cells but concordantly suppressed cell motility as revealed in colony scattering, cell migration, and invasion assays. In contrast, forced expression of CA STAT5B exhibited lower potency than CA STAT5A in enhancing survival and anchorage-independent growth of mammary carcinoma cells and exerted no effects on cell motility. Differential expression of genes that regulate cellular survival and motility was concomitantly observed on forced expression of CA STAT5A or CA STAT5B. Small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of STAT5A significantly impaired anchorage-independent growth of human mammary carcinoma cells, whereas a smaller reduction was observed upon small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of STAT5B. Depletion of endogenous STAT5A also significantly enhanced cell motility, whereas depletion of endogenous STAT5B exhibited no effect. Xenograft studies provided data concordant with the in vitro effects of the two STAT5 isoforms. We therefore demonstrate that STAT5A and STAT5B differentially regulate behavior of human mammary carcinoma cells.