The McDonough strain of the feline sarcoma virus contains a transforming gene (v-fms) which contains partial nucleotide homology with proto-oncogenes encoding tyrosine kinases. One of the v-fms-encoded products, gp140fms, is a cell surface transmembrane glycoprotein that may function as a growth factor receptor. Although c-fms transcripts have been detected in placental trophoblasts and normal human bone marrow, the role of the c-fms gene product is unknown. We now report that induction of monocytic, but not granulocytic, differentiation of human HL-60 leukaemic cells is associated with expression of c-fms, preceded by that of c-myc and c-fos. Because c-fms transcripts are also detectable in peripheral blood monocytes and in blasts from certain patients with myelomonocytic leukaemia, the c-fms gene product may play a role in monocytic differentiation.