We have analyzed a recently described 22q13.3 microdeletion in a child with some overlapping features of the cytologically visible 22q13.3 deletion syndrome. Patient NT, who shows mild mental retardation and delay of expressive speech, was previously found to have a paternal microdeletion in the subtelomeric region of 22q. In order to characterize this abnormality further, we have constructed a cosmid/P1 contig covering the terminal 150 kb of 22q, which encompasses the 130-kb microdeletion. The microdeletion breakpoint is within the VNTR locus D22S163. The cloning of the breakpoint sequence revealed that the broken chromosome end was healed by the addition of telomeric repeats, indicating that the microdeletion is terminal. This is the first cloned terminal deletion breakpoint on a human chromosome other than 16p. The cosmid/P1 contig was mapped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis to within 120 kb of the arylsulfatase A gene, which places the contig in relation to genetic and physical maps of the chromosome. The acrosin gene maps within the microdeletion, approximately 70 kb from the telomere. With the distal end of chromosome 22q cloned, it is now possible to isolate genes that may be involved in the overlapping phenotype of this microdeletion and 22q13.3 deletion syndrome.