Cell transformation by the Ras oncogene is mediated by members of the ets gene family. To analyse the mechanisms of regulation, we have studied activation of several ets factors by Ras expression. We show that expression of Ha-Ras strongly activates the Ets1 p68 and p54 isoforms and Ets2 in F9 EC cells. We have mapped the Ras responsive elements of Ets1 p68 to two domains, RI+II and RIII. Mutation of threonine 82 to alanine in RI+II abolishes both Ras activation and phosphorylation by MAP kinase. Threonine 82 is part of a sequence that is conserved in Drosophila Pointed P2, an ets protein that has been shown both genetically and biochemically to mediate Ras signalling in Drosophila cells. We extend the comparison of these evolutionary related proteins by showing that Pointed P2 is activated by Ras in mammalian cells and mutation of the homologous threonine abolishes activation. Furthermore, we show that Pointed P2 resembles Ets1, in that it has conserved sequences in a similar position adjacent to the ets DNA binding domain that negatively auto-regulates DNA binding. These results go towards showing that the Drosophila Pointed and vertebrate Ets1 are evolutionary related proteins that have remarkably conserved Ras regulatory mechanisms downstream from MAP kinase.