We investigated the expression of the Chondromodulin-I (ChM-I) gene, a putative tumor suppressor gene in cartilaginous tumors, by quantitative RT-PCR in 15 chondrosarcomas (CSs). Eight CSs expressed the ChM-I gene at the level higher than those in articular cartilage (positive cases), whereas the expression of the ChM-I gene in the remaining seven CSs was lower than those in articular cartilage (negative cases). All of five peripheral CS were positive, and the ChM-I positive tumors shared expression profiles of cartilage-related genes with articular cartilage cells. On the other hand, all of four central CSs without extramedullary lesions were negative, and the ChM-I negative tumors expressed the parathyroid hormone-related peptide gene at the lower level and the COL10A1 genes at the higher level than articular cartilage cells. Neither the histological grade nor the rate of recurrence showed clear association with the level of ChM-I gene expression. These results suggested that the expression of ChM-I gene in CS has no direct role in tumorigenesis but rather reflects the site of tumor development and therefore precursor of tumor cells.