Myeloma, hybridoma, and thymoma cell lines have been successfully transfected for the Escherichia coli xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase gene (gpt) by using the plasmid vector pSV2-gpt. The transformed cells synthesize the bacterial enzyme 5-phospho-alpha-D-ribose-1-diphosphate:xanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (XGPRT; EC 184.108.40.206) and have been maintained in selective medium for over 4 months. Lymphoid cell lines expressing a K immunoglobulin light chain were obtained by transfecting cells with pSV2-gpt containing a rearranged K light chain genomic segment from the S107 myeloma cell line. The S107 light chain is synthesized in gpt-transformed J558L myeloma cells and is identical to the light chain synthesized by the S107 myeloma cell line, as judged by immunoprecipitation and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Furthermore, this light chain is synthesized and secreted as part of an intact antibody molecule by transformed hybridoma cells that normally secrete an IgGl (gamma, K) antibody molecule. No light chain synthesis was detected in a similarly transformed rat myeloma or a mouse thymoma line.