Cables 1, a cyclin-dependent kinase binding protein, is primarily involved in cell cycle regulation. Loss of nuclear Cables 1 expression is observed in human colon, lung and endometrial cancers. We previously reported that loss of nuclear Cables 1 expression was also observed with high frequency in a limited sample set of human ovarian carcinomas, although the mechanisms underlying loss of nuclear Cables 1 expression remained unknown. Our present objective was to examine Cables 1 expression in ovarian cancer in greater detail, and determine the predominant mechanisms of Cables 1 loss. We assessed potential genetic and epigenetic modifications of the Cables 1 locus through analyses of mutation, polymorphisms, loss of heterozygosity and DNA methylation. We observed a marked loss of nuclear Cables 1 expression in serous and endometrioid ovarian carcinomas that correlated with decreased Cables 1 mRNA levels. Although we detected no Cables 1 mutations, there was evidence of LOH at the Cables 1 locus and epigenetic modification of the Cables 1 promoter region in a subset of ovarian carcinomas and established cancer cell lines. From a functional perspective, over-expression of Cables 1 induced apoptosis, whereas, knockdown of Cables 1 negated this effect. Together these findings suggest that multiple mechanisms underlie the loss of Cables 1 expression in ovarian cancer cells, supporting the hypothesis that Cables 1 is a tumor suppressor in human ovarian cancer.