Activating mutations in NOTCH1 are found in over 50% of human T-cell lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs). Here, we report the analysis for activating NOTCH1 mutations in a large number of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) primary samples and cell lines. We found activating mutations in NOTCH1 in a single M0 primary AML sample, in three (ML1, ML2 and CTV-1) out of 23 AML cell lines and in the diagnostic (myeloid) and relapsed (T-lymphoid) clones in a patient with lineage switch leukemia. Importantly, the ML1 and ML2 AML cell lines are derived from an AML relapse in a patient initially diagnosed with T-ALL. Overall, these results demonstrate that activating mutations in NOTCH1 are mostly restricted to T-ALL and are rare in AMLs. The presence of NOTCH1 mutations in myeloid and T-lymphoid clones in lineage switch leukemias establishes the common clonal origin of the diagnostic and relapse blast populations and suggests a stem cell origin of NOTCH1 mutations during the molecular pathogenesis of these tumors.