The presence of a tumour suppressor gene on chromosome 7q is indicated by cytogenetic, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and chromosome transfer studies. One candidate gene in this region is Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). The PAI-1 gene product is involved in proteolysis and may therefore influence tumour spread and invasion. We have analysed a series of 139 ovarian epithelial tumours at four loci in the region 7q21-q31 which includes the PAI-1 gene. The highest rates of loss were found in malignant tumours (FIGO stages I-IV) at markers D7S471 (38%, 20/52 informative cases) and D7S522 (34%, 15/44). No loss was seen in benign tumours and only one out of 27 (4%) informative LMP tumours demonstrated LOH. The smallest region of overlap (SRO) lies between D7S471 and PAI-1. We also identified a rearrangement in one tumour in the PAI-1 gene, suggesting that this may be the inactivated gene in this region. In addition LOH at the more distal marker, D7S522, which lies outside the SRO, shows significant association with stage (P=0.0343) and with LOH on chromosome 13 (P=0.0024). This is in contrast to all other markers examined. These data suggest the presence of two critical regions on 7q which may be important in subsets of epithelial ovarian tumours.