We have used a rat model of epithelial ovarian cancer to identify a gene that shows decreased or lost expression in independently transformed rat ovarian surface epithelial cell lines compared to the normal progenitor cells. Hence, we refer to this gene as Lot-1 (Lost on transformation 1, GenBank accession no. U72620). Here, we report the cloning of the likely human homologue and its initial characterization. The deduced amino acid sequences of the cDNAs for rat and human LOT-1 (GenBank accession no. U72621) contain seven zinc finger motifs of the C2H2 type as well as proline and glutamine rich areas. The genes share 76.4% identity at the nucleotide level, 67.7% at the amino acid level and 85.5% within the seven zinc finger motifs. LOT-1 is ubiquitously expressed in normal human tissues but was not expressed in four of 11 (36%) human ovarian cancer cell lines or spontaneously transformed human ovarian surface epithelial cells. The human gene maps to chromosome 6 at band q25. We show that there is a 38% incidence of allelic loss at this chromosomal location in human ovarian cancers. This chromosomal region has also been implicated in the genesis of breast, kidney, and pleural mesothelial cancers. We suggest that this newly identified gene is not only of intrinsic interest as a ubiquitously expressed probable transcription factor but is a plausible candidate for the tumor suppressor gene which likely resides in the region of chromosome 6 defined by band q25.