The concurrence of a short arm isochromosome and a translocation of the entire long arm of the same chromosome to a telomere of another chromosome, implying trisomy for 4p, 5p, 7p, 9p, 10p or 12p, has been described in 13 patients. We have now used fluorescence in situ hybrization (FISH) to better characterize one of these rearrangements in which 12q was translocated to 8pter, whereas 12p was converted into an isochromosome. An alphoid centromere-12 repeat gave a strong signal on the i( 2p) and a weak but distinct signal at the breakpoint junction of the der(8), whereas the pantelomeric probe revealed three clear hybridization sites on the der(8): one at each end and another at the breakpoint junction. These findings suggest that the prime event was a post-fertilization centric fission of chromosome 12 leading to the 12q translocation via a real centromere telomere fusion and the i(12p). Alternatively, the crucial event may have been a centromere telomere recombination. An interstitial telomere has been documented by means of FISH at the breakpoint junction of the sole derivative usually present in 20 constitutional translocations including eight with a jumping behavior. In addition, six other telomeric translocations defined by banding methods, including another case of 12q translocation/i(12p), have also been jumping ones. These telomeric translocations have been de noro events and their proneness to exhibit a jumping behavior appears to be independent of the involved chromosomes, size of the translocated segments, and concomitant abnormalities.