Expression in the majority of fra(10)(q25) cases is either induced or enhanced by the presence of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) in the culture medium. BrdU is known to exert its effects on cells via two primary mechanisms substitution-dependent and concentration-dependent. BrdU incorporation into DNA and BrdU concentration in the culture medium can be resolved as independent variables. The results of such experiments indicate that at three fixed levels of BrdU substitution, 100-fold variation of BrdU concentration had little or no effect on fra(10)(q25) expression. At a fixed BrdU concentration, the level of fra(10)(q25) expression rises as a function of increased BrdU substitution, approaching 100% expression at 100% substitution. Thus, BrdU induction or enhancement of fra(10)(q25) expression is clearly substitution-dependent. Iododeoxyuridine, another halogenated pyrimidine, has a similar effect. The critical time of incorporation is between 8 and 9 hrs before mitosis. After this time, removal of BrdU (and fluorodeoxyuridine [FdU]) from the culture medium followed by addition of deoxythymidine does not reverse the BrdU effect on fra(10)(q25) expression.