The oncogene of the HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cell line has been passed serially through NIH/3T3 mouse fibroblasts. Oncogene-specific probes prepared from the resulting tertiary transfectants by molecular cloning have been used to show that loss of the transfected oncogene from NIH/3T3 cells correlates with reversion to nontransformed morphology. Analysis of cells transfected by the oncogenes of other tumors and tumor cell lines indicates that the transforming gene of the HL-60 leukemia cell line is closely related to oncogenes of a Burkitt's lymphoma, an acute myelogenous leukemia, an adenocarcinoma of the colon, a neuroblastoma, and two sarcomas. This oncogene is distantly related to the viral oncogenes of Kirsten and Harvey sarcoma viruses. It has been termed N-ras. The active N-ras oncogene coexists with altered versions of the myc oncogene in the HL-60 and AW Ramos human tumors. This suggests a multistep mechanism involving both ras and myc genes in the creation of these tumors.