This study used cDNA microarray technology to compare gene expression profiles in acute myeloblastic leukaemia (AML) with cDNA dot-blot and real time PCR analysis of cDNA transcripts to confirm array data. Patient AML marrow samples and AML cell lines were compared with normal/non-AML samples. Screening revealed five particular genes to be significantly differentially expressed across the sample groups. The migration-inhibitory factor-related-proteins 8 and 14 (MRP-8 and MRP-14) genes, the products of which inhibit cell migration and differentiation were the most highly expressed in non-malignant cells. The high-mobility-group-protein gene (HMG-1) was up regulated in leukaemic samples and cell lines, which may be associated with aggressive disease. Also upregulated in malignant samples were genes encoding c-myc and glutathione-S-transferase pi (GSTP), the latter implicated in chemotherapy resistance. Faulty expression of such genes may contribute to the pathogenesis of AML and resistance to treatment.