Two new myeloid cell lines (K051 and K052) were established from a patient with multilineage CD7-positive acute leukemia. The K051 and K052 were established from the patient's bone marrow cells at diagnosis and at relapse, respectively. The K051 cell expressed myeloid- associated antigens (CD13 and CD33), a platelet-associated antigen (CD41), and an erythroid antigen (glycophorin A). The K052 cell expressed myeloid-associated antigens (CD13, CD14, and CD33), lymphoid markers (CD2, CD5, and CD7), and HLA-DR. Chromosome analysis of both cell lines showed a 17p- chromosome. Both cell lines were investigated for aberrations of the p53 gene and the N-ras gene. A p53 mutation detected in both cell lines consisted of a C-->T substitution in codon 248. An N-ras mutation detected only in the K052 cell consisted of a G-- >C substitution in codon 13. Expression of the multidrug resistance gene (MDR1) was also investigated by the semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MDR1-mRNA was more highly expressed by the K052 cell than the K051 cell, being equivalent to that in HEL cells. The functional MDR1-protein against vincristine was also observed, and its function was inhibited by verapamile and Cyclosporin A. The K052 cells were capable of phenotypic or morphologic differentiation after being incubated with granulocyte colony- stimulating factor, interleukin-2, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, or 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3. In contrast, the K051 cells responded phenotypically to retinoic acid. Thus, the K051 and K052 cell lines will be useful for investigating the cellular and molecular events in leukemogenesis and differentiation, and the mechanism of expression of the MDR1 gene.