Loss of heterozygosity and loss of expression of the deleted in colon cancer (DCC) gene is frequently observed in a number of different cancer types. To determine if the DCC gene plays a direct role in tumor suppression, wild-type full-length or truncated DCC cDNA constructs were transfected into nitrosomethylurea (NMU) transformed tumorigenic HPV-immortalized human epithelial cells that had allelic loss and reduced expression of DCC. Full-length DCC suppressed tumorigenicity whereas truncated DCC did not. Tumorigenic reversion of initially suppressed transfectants was associated with loss of DCC expression and loss or rearrangement of transfected DCC sequences. These results provide the first direct evidence that DCC is a tumor suppressor gene.