Recent evidence has suggested that the Vav oncoprotein may function as a hematopoietic-specific GTP exchange factor for the Ras superfamily of proteins. However, transformation of NIH3T3 fibroblast cells by Vav is morphologically distinct from that induced by activated Ras oncogenes, suggesting that the two oncoproteins induce separate signal transduction pathways which promote transformation. To address this issue, the effects of dominant negative mutants of H-ras and proto-Vav (proto-VavR695L, a mutation in the VavSH2 domain) were tested on Vav- and Ras-induced transformation. These mutants partially inhibited both Vav- and Ras-induced transformation, suggesting that they may induce a common downstream signaling pathway which potentiates transformation. As an independent measure of Vav function we also tested the ability of the purified protein encoded by VavSH2 to influence Germinal Vesicle Breakdown (GVBD) during Xenopus oocyte maturation. Microinjection of the VavSH2 protein alone, but not mutant VavR695L SH2 protein, was sufficient to induce GVBD and accelerated maturation induced by normal Ras, suggesting that in this system as well Vav and Ras signals overlap through a common effector. A key target of multiple signalling pathways is c-Myc. Dominant negative versions of c-Myc totally abolished morphologic transformation of NIH3T3 cells by both Vav and Ras oncogenes. These results suggest that distinct, but overlapping, signalling pathways are induced by Vav and Ras and that fibroblast cell transformation by either oncogene requires c-Myc functions.