The differentially expressed in adenocarcinoma of the lung (DAL-1) gene, which shares significant homology with members of the 4.1/ezrin/radixin/moesin/neurofibromatosis 2 (ERM/NF2) protein family, has previously been shown to suppress growth in lung cancer cell lines. This gene localizes to chromosome band 18p11.3, which undergoes loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in nonsmall cell lung carcinomas and a significant proportion of ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS) of the breast. This finding suggests that alteration of gene(s) (possibly DAL-1) within this chromosomal region may be important early in the progression of breast disease. We generated MCF-7 cell lines expressing DAL-1 constitutively or under the control of an inducible promoter and analyzed the effect of DAL-1 expression on growth. These investigations revealed that the DAL-1 protein suppresses the growth of MCF-7 cells and may do so in part through the induction of apoptosis. In addition, expression of DAL-1 increased attachment of these cells to a variety of extracellular matrices. This is the first evidence that the DAL-1 protein functions at the interface between cell adhesion and apoptosis in controlling cell growth. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.