OBJECTIVE : Expression of human chorionic gonadotropin beta subunit by cancers is extensively documented, yet regulation of the multiple genes that can code for this protein is poorly understood. The aim of the study was to examine the mechanisms regulating CGB gene expression in ovarian cancer. METHODS : Expression of CGB genes and SP1, SP3, TFAP2A transcription factor genes was evaluated by RT-qPCR. The methylation status of CGB genes promoter regions was examined by methylation-specific PCR. RESULTS : mRNA arising from multiple CGB genes was detected in both ovarian control and malignant tissues. However, expression of CGB3-9 genes was shown to be significantly higher in malignant than healthy ovarian tissues. CGB1 and CGB2 transcripts were shown to be present in 20% of ovarian cancers, but were not detected in any of the control samples. Malignant tissues were characterized by DNA demethylation of CGB promoter regions. In ovarian cancer CGB expression positively correlated with TFAP2A transcripts level and expression of TFAP2A transcription factor was significantly higher in cancer than in control tissues. In contrast SP3 expression level was significantly lower in ovarian tumours than in control ovarian tissue. CONCLUSIONS : In ovarian cancers increased expression of human chorionic gonadotropin beta subunit is associated with demethylation of CGB promoter regions. CGB3-9 expression level strongly correlates with expression of the TFAP2A transcription factor. Presence of mRNA arising from CGB1 and CGB2 genes appears to be a unique feature of a subset of ovarian cancers.