Recent evidence obtained by cytogenetic and molecular studies indicates that in breast cancer chromosome 6q is often affected by genetic changes suggesting the existence of putative tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). However the function of gene(s) on this chromosome in breast cancer suppression is not understood. To substantiate further the presence of breast cancer related TSGs at 6q and to define their location, we first performed microcell-mediated transfer of chromosome 6 to CAL51 breast cancer cells for studying possible suppression of malignant phenotype and secondly, we analysed DNAs from 46 primary breast cancers for loss of constitutive heterozygosity (LOH) using 24 poly-morphic microsatellite markers. The chromosome transfer resulted in loss of tumorigenicity and reversion of other neoplastic properties of the microcell hybrids. Polymorphism analysis of single hybrids revealed that they harbored only a small donor chromosome fragment defined by the marker D6S310 (6q23.3-q25) and flanked by D6S292 and D6S311. The LOH data suggest that four tumor suppressor gene loci mapped to the central and distal portion of 6q may be independently deleted in breast cancer. One of these regions corresponds to the region identified by chromosome transfer.