Foci of transformed NIH3T3 cells were observed after transfection of plasmids containing the c-Ha-ras-1 protooncogene modified in vitro either with the 3-N,N-acetoxyacetyl derivative (N-AcO-AGlu-P-3) of the mutagenic L-glutamic acid pyrolysis product 3-amino-4, 6-dimethyldipyrido-[1,2-a:3′,2′-d]imidazole (Glu-P-3) or with 1′-acetoxysafrole (AcO-S), a reactive derivative of the carcinogen safrole. DNA isolated from these foci were used in a second round of transfection, and the DNA obtained from the secondary transformants was analysed to determine the nature of mutations responsible for activating the protooncogene. The polymerase chain reaction method was used to amplify sequences of the gene likely to contain activating mutations, and these regions were then subjected to selective hybridization with specific oligonucleotides to locate and identify the point mutations. Five out of six transformants induced by N-AcO-AGlu-P-3 contained mutations at codon 61. Three of the codon 61 mutations were at the first base and the other two were at the third base, all were GC→TA transversions. Two AcO-S-induced transformants contained a GC→TA transversion, in one case at the first base of codon 61, in the other at the first base of codon 12. Another AcO-S-induced transformant, and the sixth transformant induced by N-AcO-AGlu-P-3 were apparently not mutated in codon 12, 61 or 117. Both N-AcO-AGlu-P-3 and AcO-S react predominantly with guanine residues in DNA, and all the mutations identified here were at GC base pairs. Further studies were carried out on transformed foci induced in a previous study by reactive derivatives of benzo[a]pyrene and 2-acetylaminoflu-orene and by depurination. Mutations were detected at codons 12 and 13, in addition to those previously characterized at codon 61.