Human tumours often contain DNA sequences not found in normal tissues which are able to transform cultured NIH 3T3 cells. In some tumours the gene responsible for this transformation belongs to the cellular ras gene family. A specific type of mutation is responsible for converting the cellular proto-oncogene into a ras oncogene capable of inducing transformation. In a study of the function of a cellular ras gene, its protein product (produced in a bacterial cell) was microinjected into NIH 3T3 cells; the recipient cells became morphologically transformed and were induced to initiate DNA synthesis in the absence of added serum, but only when cellular ras protein was injected at much higher concentrations than required with protein of the transforming ras gene. To further analyse the function of the cellular ras gene, we have now injected monoclonal antibodies against ras proteins into NIH 3T3 cells. We report here that NIH 3T3 cells induced to divide by adding serum to the culture medium are unable to enter the S phase of the cell cycle after microinjection of anti-ras antibody, showing that the protein product of the ras proto-oncogene is required for initiation of the S-phase in NIH 3T3 cells.