ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: We characterized the candidacy of the six candidate genes mapping in the chromosome 15q25 locus, which was previously reported as associated with lung cancer risk, and confirmed the locus association with lung cancer risk in an Italian population of lung adenocarcinoma patients and controls.Experimental Design: We did a quantitative analysis of mRNA levels of IREB2 (iron-responsive element-binding protein 2), LOC123688, PMSA4 [proteasome (prosome, macropain) subunit α type 4], CHRNB4 (cholinergic receptor nicotinic β 4), CHRNA3 (cholinergic receptor nicotinic α 3), and CHRNA5 (cholinergic receptor nicotinic α 5) genes in paired normal lung and lung adenocarcinoma tissue, and an immunohistochemical localization of CHRNA3- and CHRNA5-encoded proteins. We also examined the association of CHRNA5 D398N polymorphism with lung cancer risk and with CHRNA5 mRNA levels in the normal lung.Results: Expression analysis of the six candidate genes mapping in the lung cancer risk–associated chromosome 15q25 locus revealed a 30-fold up-regulation of the gene encoding the CHRNA5 subunit and a 2-fold down-regulation of the CHRNA3 subunit in lung adenocarcinoma as compared with the normal lung. The expression of the four other candidate genes resulted either unchanged or absent. The carrier status of the 398N allele at the D398N polymorphism of the CHRNA5 gene was associated with lung adenocarcinoma risk (odds ratio, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.0) in a population-based series of lung adenocarcinoma patients (n = 467) and healthy controls (n = 739). Analysis of a family-based series of nonsmoker lung cancer cases (n = 80) and healthy sib controls (n = 80) indicated a similar trend. In addition, the same D398N variation correlated with CHRNA5 mRNA levels in normal lung of adenocarcinoma patients.Conclusions: Our results point to the candidacy of the CHRNA5 gene for the 15q25 locus.