We have previously identified deletions of 9p and 9q in a cytogenetic analysis of a large series of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs), which suggested loss of candidate tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). In order to define these deletions at the molecular level, we performed an LOH analysis of a panel of paired normal and tumor DNAs comprising 13 cases of diffuse lymphoma with a large cell component (DLLC) and 18 cases of Burkitt's lymphoma (BL). The loci tested comprised eight polymorphic probes mapped to 9p (D9S33, D9S25, IFNB, IFNA, IFNW, D9S126, D9S3, and D9S19) and seven polymorphic probes mapped to 9q (D9S29, ASS, AKI, ABL, D9S10, D9S7, and D9S14). In this analysis, among cases informative for all loci in each subset, 5/13 (38%) DLLC and 4/18 (22%) BL showed LOH at 9p loci, whereas 5/13 (38%) DLLC and 3/18 (16%) BL showed LOH at 9q loci. Among the 9p loci partial homozygous or heterozygous losses were observed in 20-50% of informative cases of DLLC at D9S25, IFNB, IFNA, IFNW, D9S126, and D9S3, whereas in BL, losses at these loci ranged from 0% to 11%. Among the 9q loci, heterozygous losses were observed in > 20% of informative cases of DLLC at D9S7 (23%) and D9S29 (27%), whereas no losses were seen at these two loci in BL. These data demonstrate a high level of molecular deletion in DLLC, but not in BL, suggesting that loss of one or more TSGs on chromosome 9 plays an important role in DLLC development.