Ewing's sarcoma (ES) and peripheral neuroepithelioma (PN) are related tumors, possibly of neural crest origin, which are cytogenetically characterized by the specific translocation t(11;22)(q24;q 12). The cos5 locus, previously identified in the vicinity of the chromosome 22 breakpoint of this translocation, was shown by in situ hybridization on interphase nuclei to lie between VIIIF2 and LIF, two loci located on either side of the breakpoint and at a distance of less than 2,000 kb. The progressive expansion of this locus by chromosome walking led to the construction of a 300 kb contig, which finally crossed the breakpoint. The subsequent cloning of the two translocation junction fragments of a PN, followed by the molecular characterization of the translocation breakpoints of 20 ES and PN, showed that most chromosome 22 breakpoints are clustered within a small, 2 kb region. In contrast, the chromosome 11 breakpoints are scattered over a region of at least 40 kb. The translocation leads to the synthesis of a chimeric transcript that links sequences from chromosomes 22 and 11. Finally, no evidence was found of any specific difference in the position of ES and PN translocation breakpoints.