Deletions in chromosomal band 13q14.3 occur in >50% of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias (B-CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma, indicating the localization of a tumor suppressor gene involved in the pathomechanism of these diseases. Within a 400 kb recurrently deleted segment at least two minimally deleted subregions had been reported. For the two genes residing in the proximal subregion, initially named LEU1 and LEU2, a pathogenic role has not yet been established. We report here that LEU1 is only a small portion of a large gene, which spans all previously reported critical subregions including the distal subregion. This gene, designated B-cell neoplasia-associated gene with multiple splicing (BCMS), is composed of at least 50 exons spanning >or=560 kb of genomic DNA and is expressed in more than 20 RNA splicing variants. While tissue-specific expression of RNA variants was observed, there was no evidence for the expression of a variant specific for B-CLL. Sequence analysis of the RNA variants suggests that BCMS transcripts belong to the group of non-coding RNAs. The alignment of the gene with all critical subregions provides a strong argument for BCMS being the most likely candidate for the tumor suppressor gene in 13q14 involved in the leukemogenesis of B-CLL. Due to the limited understanding of functional RNAs, however, it remains difficult to prove the pathogenic role of BCMS.