We have analyzed the regulation and expression of ASPP members, genes implicated in the regulation of the apoptotic function of the TP53 tumor-suppressor gene, in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Expression of ASPP1 was significantly reduced in ALL and was dependent on hypermethylation of the ASPP1 gene promoter. Abnormal ASPP1 expression was associated with normal function of the tumor-suppressor gene TP53 in ALL. The analyses of 180 patients with ALL at diagnosis showed that the ASPP1 promoter was hypermethylated in 25% of cases with decreased mRNA expression. Methylation was significantly higher in adult ALL vs childhood ALL (32 vs 17%, P = 0.03) and T-ALL vs B-ALL (50 vs 9%, P = 0.001). Relapse rate (62 vs 44%, P = 0.05) and mortality (59 vs 43%, P = 0.05) were significantly higher in patients with methylated ASPP1. DFS and OS were 32.8 and 33.7% for patients with unmethylated ASPP1 and 6.1 and 9.9% for methylated patients (P < 0.001 y P < 0.02, respectively). On the multivariate analysis, methylation of the ASPP1 gene promoter was an independent poor prognosis factor in ALL patients. Our results demonstrate that decreased expression of ASPP1 in patients with ALL is due to an abnormal methylation of its promoter and is associated with a poor prognosis.