MKN 45 is a poorly differentiated gastric carcinoma cell line from which the subclone GTL 16 was obtained. Both lines carry an amplification unit derived from chromosome 7 sequences and containing an activated c-met oncogene. Karyotypic analysis showed that GTL 16 derived from a subclone of MKN 45 after endoreduplication. Several clonal abnormalities are evident in both lines; some are frequently observed in gastrointestinal tumors (loss of 17p and monosomy 18). Other consistent anomalies include 6q-, t(8;10) and t(5;8), and inv(16). A marker chromosome (M1), which was previously shown to contain the c-met amplification unit, is constantly duplicated in all GTL 16 metaphases; in contrast, most unidentified markers are retained in only a single copy in GTL 16 cells. These data are in agreement with the hypothesis that the c-met oncogene activation in these gastric cancer cell lines might be related to a gene dosage effect.