A female patient is described with von Recklinghausen neurofibromatosis (NF1) in association with a balanced translocation between chromosome 17 and 22 [46,XX,t(17;22)(q11.2;q11.2)]. The breakpoint in chromosome 17 is cytogenetically identical to a previously reported case of NF1 associated with a 1;17 balanced translocation and suggests that the translocation events disrupt the NF1 gene. This precisely maps the NF1 gene to 17q11.2 and provides a physical reference point for strategies to clone the breakpoint and therefore the NF1 gene. A human-mouse somatic cell hybrid was constructed from patient lymphoblasts which retained the derivative chromosome 22 (22pter----22q11.2::17q11.2----17qter) but not the derivative 17q or normal 17. Southern blot analysis with genes and anonymous probes known to be in proximal 17q showed ErbA1, ErbB2, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (CSF3) to be present in the hybrid and therefore distal to the breakpoint, while pHHH202 (D17S33) and beta crystallin (CRYB1) were absent in the hybrid and therefore proximal to the breakpoint. The gene cluster including ErbA1 is known to be flanked by the constitutional 15;17 translocation breakpoint in hybrid SP3 and by the acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) breakpoint, which provides the following gene and breakpoint order: cen-SP3-(D17S33,CRYB1)-NF1-(CSF3,ERBA1, ERBB2)-APL-tel. The flanking breakpoints of SP3 and API are therefore useful for rapidly localizing new markers to the neurofibromatosis critical region, while the breakpoints of the two translocation patients provide unique opportunities for reverse genetic strategies to clone the NF1 gene.