Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous group of neoplastic disorders with great variability in clinical course and response to therapy, as well as in the genetic and molecular basis of the pathology. Major advances in the understanding of leukemogenesis have been made by the characterization and the study of acquired cytogenetic abnormalities, particularly reciprocal translocations observed in AML. Besides these major cytogenetic abnormalities, gene mutations also constitute key events in AML pathogenesis. In this review, we describe the contribution of known gene mutations to the understanding of AML pathogenesis and their clinical significance. To gain more insight in this understanding, we clustered these alterations in three groups: (1) mutations affecting genes that contribute to cell proliferation (FLT3, c-KIT, RAS, protein tyrosine standard phosphatase nonreceptor 11); (2) mutations affecting genes involved in myeloid differentiation (AML1 and CEBPA) and (3) mutations affecting genes implicated in cell cycle regulation or apoptosis (P53, NPM1). This nonexhaustive review aims to show how gene mutations interact with each other, how they contribute to refine prognosis and how they can be useful for risk-adapted therapeutic management of AML patients.