Retroviral insertional mutagenesis has been proposed as an efficient mechanism to turn on or to increase the expression of oncogenes in several avian or mammal models. Integration site studies of avian leukosis virus, murine leukaemia and murine mammary tumour viruses led to the coleutification of highly conserved genes whose expression is induced or increased during leukaemogenesis, probably through enhancer elements present in the retroviral long terminal repeats. This is reminiscent of the activation of cellular proto-oncogenes or putative oncogenes in numerous human tumours and leukaemias as a result of chromosomal translocations or DNA rearrangements. Here we report the characterization of a new putative oncogene isolated from a murine erythroleukaemia induced by the acute leukaemogenic retrovirus spleen focus forming virus (SFFV). An important and unusual feature of this genomic locus Spi-1 (for SFFV proviral integration) is that rearrangements due to SFFV integration were found in 95% of the erythroid tumours studied. A 4.0-kilobase messenger RNA was detected in rearranged tumours. No Spi-1 rearrangement was detected in other virally induced myeloid, lymphoid or erythroid tumours tested.