The p27kip1 (p27) gene encodes an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase activity. The expression of p27 protein in normal and neoplastic tissues was investigated by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. Immunoblotting studies detected a 27-kd protein band that was decreased in neoplastic pituitary tissues compared with normal pituitary. Immunostaining of 177 tissues showed abundant expression of p27 protein in normal tissues with decreased numbers of immunoreactive cells in adenomas and carcinomas in both endocrine and nonendocrine tissues. p27 expression was inversely related to the proliferation marker Ki-67 antigen detected with monoclonal antibody MIB-1. Parathyroid adenomas and hyperplasias had similar Ki-67 labeling indices; however, hyperplasias had threefold more p27-positive cells than parathyroid adenomas, suggesting that p27 immunostaining may be useful in distinguishing between these two conditions. These results indicate that there is widespread aberrant p27 expression in hyperplastic tissues and in benign and malignant neoplasms compared with normal tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis of p27 along with Ki-67 may be used to assess the biological behavior of various neoplasms, to classify hyperplastic and neoplastic tissues, and to study cell cycle regulation during tumor progression.