FRA3B and FRA16D are the most sensitive common chromosomal fragile site loci in the human genome and two tumor suppressor genes FHIT (Fragile Histidine Triad) and WWOX (WW domain-containing oxidoreductase gene) map to this sites. The WWOX gene is composed of 9 exons and encodes a 46-kD protein that contains 414 amino acids. Loss of heterozygosity, homozygous deletions, and chromosomal translocations affecting WWOX has been reported in several types of cancer, including ovarian, esophageal, lung and stomach carcinoma, and multiple myeloma. The aim of this study was to determine the role of WWOX as a tumor suppressor gene in patients with breast cancer. Tumor and adjacent non-cancerous tissue samples were obtained from 81 patients with breast cancer. DNA was isolated from all tissue samples, and all exons and flanking intronic sequences of the WWOX gene were analyzed by PCR amplification and direct sequencing. We detected 14 different alterations in the coding sequence and one base substitution at the intron 6 splice site (+1 G-A). In addition to exonic and splice-site alterations, we detected 23 different alterations in the non-coding region of the gene. All coding region mutations identified in this study were in the exons between 4 and 9. We did not observe any alterations in exons 1-3. We conclude that mutations in critical region of the WWOX gene are frequent and may have an important role in breast carcinogenesis.