The establishment, characterization, and tumorigenicity of a new epithelial cell line (PC-3) from a human prostatic adenocarcinoma metastatic to bone is reported. The cultured cells show anchorage-independent growth in both monolayers and in soft agar suspension and produce subcutaneous tumors in nude mice. Culture of the transplanted tumor yielded a human cell line with characteristics identical to those used initially to produce the tumor. PC-3 has a greatly reduced dependence upon serum for growth when compared to normal prostatic epithelial cells and does not respond to androgens, glucocorticoids, or epidermal or fibroblast gowth factors. Karyotypic analysis by quinacrine banding revealed the cells to be completely aneuploid with a modal chromosome number in the hypotriploid range. At least 10 distinctive marker chromosomes were identified. The overall karyotype as well as the marker chromosomes are distinct from those of the HeLa cell. Electron microscopic studies revealed many features common to neoplastic cells of epithelial origin including numerous microvilli, junctional complexes, abnormal nuclei and nucleoli, abnormal mitochondria, annulate lamellae, and lipoidal bodies. Overall, the functional and morphologic characteristics of PC-3 are those of a poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma. These cells should be useful in investigating the biochemical changes in advanced prostatic cancer cells and in assessing their response to chemotherapeutic agents.