In previous studies, we successfully refined nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) critical regions (CRs) mapping to chromosome 11q13 and 11q22-23. The chromosome 11 fragment containing the 1.8 Mb NPC CR at 11q13 (CR1), the CR at 11q22.3 mapped near D11S2000 (CR2), part of the CR at 11q23.1-11q23.2 overlapping with D11S1300 and D11S1391 (CR3), and the CR at celladhesionmolecule 1 (CADM1) locus (CR4), was chosen as the chromosome 11 donor cell line for the present study. Gamma irradiation was applied to cleave this truncated chromosome into smaller fragments and a new panel of donor cells containing further deleted fragments was produced. Subclones XMCH3.2 and XMCH3.4 were chosen for subsequent transfer to HONE1 cells; each contains a single copy of deleted chromosome 11 fragment with or without CR2 and the THY1 locus, previously shown to be involved in NPC. Both resultant chromosome 11 fragments in XMCH3.2 and XMCH3.4 caused tumor suppression. The association of alpha B-crystallin (CRYAB), a gene identified as being differentially expressed by gene profiling of NPC and an immortalized nasopharyngeal epithelial cell line, and which is located near CR3, was found to be associated with tumor suppression in all the tumor-suppressive hybrids. In addition, the expression level of this gene was down-regulated in the 7 NPC cell lines and in 5 out of 14 normal/tumor tissue pairs in the present study. Both promoter hypermethylation and allelic loss may be involved in the inactivation of this gene, suggesting its possible role in NPC development. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.