As a consequence of a reciprocal translocation t(17;22)(q22;q13) and of supernumerary ring chromosomes derived from the t(17;22), a fusion between the platelet-derived growth factor b-chain (PDGF, c-sis proto-oncogene) and the collagen type 1A1 (COL1A1) genes has been recently described in dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DP), an infiltrating skin tumor (Simon et al., 1997). Although PDGFB has been implicated in transforming processes via autocrine and paracrine pathways, by the activation of the cognate receptor, no direct evidence of its involvement in neoplastic transformation of human tumours has been so far provided. In this report, we have tested the DNA from four DPs in the classical DNA transfection assay onto NIH3T3 fibroblast cell line. All the DNAs induced the formation of transformed foci in the transfected cultures whose derived cell lines were shown to contain a fused sequence comprising the human COL1A1 and PDGF genes. The relative breakpoint regions have been sequenced revealing that this gene fusion deleted exon 1 of PDGF and released the growth factor from its normal regulation. All the biochemical and biological assays were consistent with the model of an autocrine mechanism for NIH3T3 transformation by the human rearranged PDGFB gene involving the activation of the endogenous PDGF receptor.