Eight genes located on the short arm of the human X chromosome (MAOA, SYN1, OAT, OTC, CYBB, DMD, ZFX, POLA) have been mapped in several marsupial species by cell hybrid analysis and/or in situ hybridization using probes derived from human cDNA. Seven appear to be autosomal in all marsupial species examined. The eighth, CYBB, detected a site on the X, as well as major autosomal sites. Although these genes are not conserved on the X chromosome in marsupials, at least some of them are arranged together in autosomal clusters. The autosomal location of human Xp genes in marsupials could mean that this region either was lost from a large ancestral X chromosome in the marsupial lineage or was acquired by a small ancestral X (and perhaps Y) in the eutherian lineage. Either explanation demands that the region was not subject to X chromosome inactivation in a common ancestor 120-150 MyrBP.