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Several genes implicated in the development of various malignancies appear to be of minor relevance in melanoma. We therefore aimed to find a tumour suppressor candidate involved in this malignancy by comparing gene expression in uncultured primary melanoma specimens with those in acquired melanocytic naevi, from which quite often melanomas are known to arise. Applying the subtractive suppression hybridization technique, we generated a subtracted library of candidate genes downregulated in melanoma. Among the cDNA fragments identical to known genes, this library included a cDNA fragment 630 bp in length that is identical to the gene for the human protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit B (B56) γ isoform (PP2A-Bγ, PPP2R5C). On further evaluation of 15 primary melanoma and 16 acquired melanocytic naevus tissue specimens from independent patients using semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, expression of this gene was found to be suppressed in melanomas compared with naevi; the difference was statistically significant. As PP2A is known to be a major cellular serine–threonine phosphatase, and has been implicated not only in the regulation of cell growth and division but also in the control of gene transcription and growth factor signal transduction, alterations in the pattern of the regulatory subunits may affect substrate specificity and subcellular localization of the PP2A holoenzyme in melanoma cells.