A common cellular sequence was independently transduced by avian carcinoma virus MH2 (v-mht) and murine sarcoma virus (MSV) 3611 (v-raf). Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of v-mht and v-raf revealed a region of homology that extends over 969 nucleotides. The homology between the corresponding amino acids was about 95 percent with only 19 of 323 amino acids being different. With this example, 5 of the 19 known different viral onc genes have been observed in viruses of different taxonomic groups. These data indicate that (i) the number of cellular proto-onc genes is limited because, like other viruses of different taxonomic groups, MH2 and MSV 3611 have transduced the same onc gene-specific sequences from different cell species and (ii) that specific deletion and linkage of the same proto-onc sequences to different viral vector elements affect the oncogenic potential of the resulting viruses. The difference in transformation capabilities of MH2 and MSV 3611 serves as an example.