In an attempt to analyse the cytogenetic effects caused by SV40 large T-antigen expression in cells of human benign tumors we transfected cells of an uterine leiomyoma characterized by a primary reciprocal translocation t(12;14)(q15;q24) and a pleomorphic adenoma of the salivary gland with an inversion inv(12) (q15q24.1) using a construct coding for SV40 large and small T-antigen. The most interesting finding was not a generally destabilized karyotype, but the strictly non-random involvement of two chromosomal breakpoints, i.e. 5p13 and 10q11 in jumping translocations, never described before as a result of SV40 transformation. In addition we were able to show by non-radioactive in situ hybridization that there was no direct relationship between the integration site of the construct and the pre-disposition of 5p13 and 10q11 to somatic recombination. The jumping translocations with consistent breakpoints observed closely resemble the cytogenetic situation seen in a variety of human tumors with specific translocations. Based on the findings described here it is tempting to assume that the expression of SV40 large T-antigen can induce specific karyotypic alterations following an unknown trans-acting mechanism.