Oncoprotein 18 (Op18) is an 18 kDa intracellular phosphoprotein that appears to be up-regulated in certain neoplastic cells. In the present report we have analysed the expression of Op18 in samples of human hematopoietic disorders, mainly leukemias and lymphomas. For this purpose we have developed reagents allowing quantitative Western-blot analysis, and quantification of Op18 on the single cell level by flow cytometric analysis. The data demonstrates that a significant fraction of all lymphoma and leukemia cases express Op18 at levels that are several-fold higher than the Op18 levels ever found in benign proliferating tissue, such as bone marrows in remission and reactive lymph nodes. Thus, the results establish on the single cell level that Op18 is frequently expressed at abnormal levels in lymphoid and myeloid malignancies. Flow cytometric analysis revealed a striking qualitative and quantitative heterogeneity in Op18 expression between patients with lymphoma or leukemia. Moreover, our analysis demonstrates that the abnormal cellular levels of Op18 expression frequently found in high grade lymphoma and acute leukemia samples do not correlate with an increased fraction of cells in S phase. Finally, we also present an example of dramatic changes in Op18 expression pattern in bone marrow cells during the progression of a chemo-resistant acute leukemia.