During systematic analysis of the mRNAs expressed in a human colorectal carcinoma with the aim of evidencing new makers of the disease (Frigerio et al. (1995), in press), we isolated several clones corresponding to homologs of rat ribosomal protein mRNAs L5, L21, L27a, L28, S5, S9, S10 and S29. Because expression of several mRNAs encoding ribosomal proteins was found strongly altered during colorectal carcinogenesis, sequence of these transcripts, not previously described in human, was completed and their expression analyzed. Northern blot analysis of RNAs extracted from colorectal cancer and ajdacent normal tissue from 6 patients revealed in all of them perturbations of expression in cancer, compared to normal. No correlation could however be made between the level of expression and the severity of the disease. Yet, abnormal patterns with additional larger transcripts were observed in some patients for rpL5, rpL28 and rpS10.