The ETS oncogene family member PU.1 is a transcriptional activator that is dysregulated by Friend erythroleukemia virus insertion. Northern analysis found that PU.1 is highly expressed in cells of myeloid and B- lymphoid origin, but not expressed at all in a number of nonhematopoietic tissues. Interferon-gamma and retinoic acid downregulated PU.1 expression in marrow macrophages. In situ immunohistochemistry found that PU.1 is expressed only in early granulocytic and erythroid cells and megakaryocytes, but not in mature erythroid cells, mature granulocytes, endothelial cells, or osteocytes. Thus, its expression pattern makes PU.1 a candidate for a genetic determinant of lineage commitment and stage progression in blood cell development. It also lends insight into how PU.1 might play a role in Friend virus erythroleukemia.