Monosomy 1p36 is the most commonly observed terminal deletion syndrome in humans. Our previous molecular studies on a large cohort of subjects suggest that monosomy 1p36 can result from a variety of chromosomal rearrangements including terminal truncations, interstitial deletions, derivative chromosomes, inverted duplications, and complex rearrangements. However, the mechanism(s) by which rearrangements of 1p36 are generated and/or stabilized is not understood. Sequence analysis of breakpoint junctions may provide valuable clues to the underlying mechanisms of many chromosomal aberrations. In this report, we analyze the breakpoints at the DNA-sequence level in four subjects with variable-sized deletions of 1p36. All four breakpoints fall within repetitive DNA-sequence elements (LINEs, SINEs, etc). This suggests that repetitive DNA-sequence elements may play an important role in generating and/or stabilizing terminal deletions of 1p36. Mechanisms by which repetitive elements may be involved in the process of terminal deletion formation and stabilization are discussed.