Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV) carries the gene v-abl, one of a group of oncogenes with structural and functional (tyrosine kinase) homology to three growth factor receptors. Work in this and other laboratories has shown that A-MuLV infection can render myeloid and lymphoid cells independent of the growth factors interleukin 3 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. We have now shown that v-abl can also relieve interleukin 2 (IL-2) dependence in T cells. We infected a cloned IL-2-dependent antigen-specific cell line. Transformed cells were generated which were factor independent and tumorigenic. The transformants each bore unique v-abl DNA inserts and expressed v-abl mRNA. No elevation of expression of either IL-2 or its receptor could be detected in these cells. Thus, A-MuLV can short-circuit the dependence of hematopoietic cells on IL-2, IL-3, and possibly granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, none of whose receptors are known to be of the tyrosine kinase type.