NIH 3T3 tertiary transfectants containing the N-ras or c-Ha-ras oncogenes derived from human tumors were tested for susceptibility to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cell and natural killer (NK) cell lysis. N-ras tertiary transfectants contained a human acute lymphocytic leukemia-derived N-ras oncogene. C-Ha-ras transfectants contained either the position 61-activated form of the oncogene (45.342, 45.322, and 45.3B2) or the position 12-activated form (144-162). In 4 hr 51Cr release assays, seven of seven in vivo grown human oncogene transfected NIH 3T3 fibroblasts were lysed by murine LAK effectors, whereas six of seven were lysed by human LAK effectors. There was no difference in susceptibility to lysis between cells transfected with the N-ras oncogene, the position 61 activated c-Ha-ras oncogene, or the position 12 activated c-Ha-ras oncogene. Cultured NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, as well as in vitro and in vivo grown NIH 3T3 tertiary transfectants were resistant to lysis by murine NK effectors and were relatively resistant (4/6 were not lysed) to lysis by human NK effectors. We conclude that human oncogene-transfected tumors are susceptible to lysis by both murine and human LAK cells while being relatively resistant to lysis by murine and human NK cells. Different oncogenes or the same oncogene activated by different point mutations do not specifically determine susceptibility to lysis by LAK or NK. Also the presence of an activated oncogene does not appear to be sufficient for inducing susceptibility to these cytotoxic lymphocyte populations.

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