Five cosmid clones, isolated by procedures to screen genomic libraries for homologous variants of the human prohibitin gene (PHB), were analyzed to determine their genomic structures. Four of these (PHBP1-4) were found to be processed pseudogenes, each located on a different chromosome from their counterparts on chromosome 17q21. The DNA sequence of one clone (PHBP1, on chromosome 6q25) shared a 91.3% identity at the nucleotide level with the cDNA of functional prohibitin. A large number of human tumors of the breast, ovary, liver, and lung were examined for somatic mutations in the PHB gene. Although mutations were observed in a few sporadic breast cancers, none were identified in any of the other cancers.