The development and progression of cancer are believed to be due to multiple genetic alterations resulting in complex changes in expression of many genes. The parental malignant melanoma cell line UACC903 displays anchorage-independent growth, and the chromosome 6–suppressed subline UACC903(+6) displays anchorage-dependent growth. The anchorage-independent revertant cell line SRS3 derived from UACC903(+6) by retroviral transduction resembles the phenotype of UACC903. In this study, we first compared the expression profiles of 3317 genes between these three cell lines in pairs by cDNA microarrays, resulting in identification of genes with known suppressor activities. We then demonstrated connexin 43 (C×43)–suppressing anchorage-independent growth of UACC903 on overexpression. Of 3317 genes with informative expression detected by cDNA microarray, 321 (9.68%) showed expression changes between at least one pair of the three cell lines. Notably, 12 genes displayed higher levels of expression in UACC903(+6) than in both UACC903 and SRS3, providing candidates for further identification of melanoma-suppressor genes. Genes encoding C×43 (suppressor activity), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (suppressor activity), and cysteine proteinase P32α (apoptotic activity) were all upregulated in UACC903(+6), in contrast to both UACC903 and SRS3. Transfection of C×43, encoded on human chromosome 6q21–q23, a region frequently altered in malignant melanoma, resulted in its overexpression and the suppression of anchorage-independent growth of UACC903. Thus, our result proves the principle that the combination of the ability to alter cellular phenotype by successive genetic alterations and the ability to examine the global expression profiles facilitates the identification of tumor suppressor genes. Mol. Carcinog. 28:119–127, 2000. © 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.