APC gene mutations have been demonstrated not only in colorectal carcinoma but also in a variety of human cancers. To define the possible role of mutations of the APC gene in hepatocarcinogenesis, we examined 46 pairs of hepatocellular carcinomas and corresponding non-tumorous liver tissue by polymerase chain reaction and single strand conformation polymorphism. All 46 hepatocellular carcinomas had no altered electrophoretic mobility to suggest the presence of APC gene mutation in the mutation cluster region. We also examined the possible loss of heterozygosity of APC and MCC gene loci by fragment length polymorphism analysis and by polymerase chain reaction. None of the cases showed a loss of heterozygosity at the APC and MCC gene loci. The results suggested that the possibility of APC and MCC as the gene defect in the genesis of human hepatocellular carcinoma may be very rare.