Neoplastic transformation, cancer progression, and metastasis are determined by a series of well-defined changes that take place in target tissue cells. Genetic alterations associated with human prostate carcinogenesis are not well defined. Some chromosomal changes, including gain of chromosomes 7, 12, 17, and X and loss of heterozygosity in chromosomes 8p, 10q, 16q, 17p, and 18q, have been reported. We examined five newly established and eight previously established prostate cancer cell lines before and after subcutis and orthotopic injection into nude mice and observed that structural alterations of chromosome 5 were present in all of the cell lines except the parental LNCaP. The fluorescence in situ hybridization preparations with the use of whole chromosome-5 DNA painting probe confirmed our Giemsa-banding data. Alterations of chromosome 5 consisted of t(1;5)(p36;q15), t(5;?)(p11;?), del(5)(q23q35) in the SP2964(=ARCaP) cell line; t(5;8)(p15;q12), i(5)(p10), t(5;15)(q11;p11) in the SP3031 cell line; t(5;?;15) (q15;?;p11), t(5,7;14)(q31;p11-q32;q11), in the SP3173 and SP3241 cell lines (derived from the same patient); del(5)(q23-33) and t(5;7;14)(q31;p11-q32;q11) in the SP3316 cell line; t(3;5)(q21;q35) in the SP2884 cell line; t(5;5)(p15;q11) in the SP2356 cell line; i(5)(p10),t(5;?)(q23;?) in the DU-145 cell line; and i(5)(p10), t(5;?)(q11;?), and t(2;5)(q15;q15) in the PC-3 cell line. Because, in most cases, alteration of chromosome 5 resulted in the partial or complete loss of 5q, we conjectured that 5q might contain one or more tumor-suppressor genes for human prostate cancer development. (C) Elsevier Science Inc., 1998.