In addition to the fusion of human chromosome 2, nine pericentric inversions are the most conspicuous karyotype differences between humans and chimpanzees. In this study we identified the breakpoint regions of the pericentric inversion of chimpanzee chromosome 11 (PTR 11) homologous to human chromosome 9 (HSA 9). The break in homology between PTR 11p and HSA 9p12 maps to pericentromeric segmental duplications, whereas the breakpoint region orthologous to 9q21.33 is located in intergenic single-copy sequences. Close to the inversion breakpoint in PTR 11q, large blocks of alpha satellites are located, which indicate the presence of the centromere. Since G-banding analysis and the comparative BAC analyses performed in this study imply that the inversion breaks occurred in the region homologous to HSA 9q21.33 and 9p12, but not within the centromere, the structure of PTR 11 cannot be explained by a single pericentric inversion. In addition to this pericentric inversion of PTR 11, further events like centromere repositioning or a second smaller inversion must be assumed to explain the structure of PTR 11 compared with HSA 9.