Deletion of 6q is a frequent finding in ovarian carcinoma, which would suggest that this region contains one or more putative tumor suppressor genes. Chromosome 6q abnormalities in six ovarian carcinoma cell lines were analyzed by G-banding and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Using a variety of probes, including a chromosome 6 paint, a probe specific for the chromosome 6 centromere, and cosmids that map to q24 (cCI6-115), q25 (cCI6-4), q26 (cCI6-91, cCI6-119), and q27 (cCI6-13, cCI6-24, and cCI6-111), abnormalities of 6q were found in three cell lines. In cell line OAW42 (hypotetraploid), the sequences complementary to cCI6-119, cCI6-91, and cCI6-13 probes were lost in two homologues of chromosome 6, which indicates the deletion of genetic material from bands q26-27. The same bands were translocated in cell line PEO1 (hypertriploid). The probes from this region were absent on two copies of chromosome 6, but hybridized to two or three markers. In cell line 59M (hyperdiploid) an interstitial deletion proximal to q24 was detected in one chromosome 6. We conclude that it is very likely that a gene or genes localized in bands 6q26-27, and perhaps in the region proximal to 6q24, play a critical role in the development or progression of ovarian carcinoma.