Human KB cell lines resistant to high levels of colchicine were isolated by several successive single-step selections. Most of these selection steps resulted in cross-resistance to vincristine, vinblastine, adriamycin, actinomycin D, and puromycin; however, at the highest levels of colchicine resistance, increased cross-resistance to other drugs was not observed. There was no major change in protein synthesis or alteration in protein phosphorylation or [14C]glucosamine labeling patterns accompanying the development of multiple drug resistance as measured by analysis of metabolically labeled proteins on SDS gels. Cell-cell hybridization experiments showed that the colchicine-resistant and multiple drug-resistant phenotypes were incompletely dominant. In addition, colchicine resistance was found to segregate independently from resistance to other drugs in one somatic cell hybrid, suggesting that complex genetic loci are involved in the development of the multiple drug-resistant phenotype. These mutants should be useful for the study of the clinically important problem of multiple drug resistance in human cancer.