We describe three unrelated kindreds, affected by familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), with 5q submicroscopic deletions that encompass the entire adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene and the adjacent DP1 gene. In one family the deletion encompasses also the MCC (mutated in colon cancer) gene. Affected members of these families had dysplastic adenomatous polyps and congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (CHRPE); no individual was affected by mental retardation or facial dysmorphism. The deletions were detected by linkage analysis with several intragenic and closely flanking polymorphic markers and confirmed by a quantitative PCR analysis. This procedure could have an impact on the detection of the molecular defect in FAP patients in whom mutational analysis fails to identify the specific mutation.