The met oncogene activated in vitro by treatment of a human osteogenic sarcoma (HOS) cell line with N-methyl-N'-nitronitrosoguanidine (MNNG) is related to the tyrosine kinase gene family. Probes from the met oncogene locus recognize two distinct transcripts of 9.0 kb and 10.0 kb which are independently expressed in a cell-type-specific fashion. While the met proto-oncogene locus expresses the 9.0 kb RNA and maps to human chromosome 7q21-31, the locus expressing the 10.0 kb RNA, (tpr; translocated promoter region) maps to human chromosome 1. Both MNNG-HOS cells and met NIH 3T3 transformants express a novel 5.0 kb RNA which represents a hybrid transcript with 5' sequences derived from tpr and 3' sequences from the met proto-oncogene. Treating HOS cells in vitro with MNNG, a known clastogenic carcinogen, resulted in fusion of two chromosomally disparate loci, met and tpr, generating the active met oncogene.