Mouse plasmacytomas (MPCs) induced by pristane oil, or by a combination of pristane oil and Abelson virus, carry one of two chromosomal translocations. The typical 12; 15 translocation leads to the juxtaposition of c-myc and immunoglobulin heavy-chain sequences, whereas the 6; 15 translocation links the kappa light-chain locus with the pvt-1 (plasmacytoma variant translocation) locus, located at least 75kb 3' of c-myc [Cory, S., Graham, M., Webb, E., Corcoran, L. & Adams, J. (1985). EMBO J., 4, 675-681]. Unlike the human Burkitt's lymphoma-associated translocation, the lambda/myc juxtaposed variant translocation has not been found previously in MPCs. Using unconventional MPC induction systems in which the tumor precursor cell was induced to proliferate in a secondary host, we have recently identified a 15; 16 translocation in six of the derived MPCs [Wiener, F., Silva, S., Sugiyama, H., Babonits, M. & Klein, G. (1990). Genes Chromosomes Cancer, 2, 36-43]. Chromosome 16 harbors the lambda light-chain gene. To explore whether the 15; 16 translocation represents the lambda/myc juxtaposition, we have mapped the breakpoints on chromosomes 15 and 16 by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The pvt-1 region was mapped to approximately 220 kb 3' of c-myc. The breakpoint on chromosome 15 in ABPC-Ch-163-10, one of the six 15; 16 translocation-carrying MPCs, was situated approximately 80 kb 3' of c-myc and 140 kb 5' of pvt-1b, the major breakpoint cluster region of the previously analysed 6; 15 variant MPCs. The breakpoint on chromosome 16 was found to cut between the V1 and C3 regions of the lambda locus. Co-migration experiments showed that the C3 and the myc gene were juxtaposed head to tail on the 15; 16 translocation chromosome. On the reciprocal product V1 was juxtaposed to pvt-1.