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ABSTRACT: Among 23 germline mutations identified in the APC screening of 45 familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients, we have found 10 different novel frameshift mutations in 11 apparently unrelated patients. In two cases, an additional missense mutation was detected. One previously described as a causative germline mutation (S2621C), associated with a 1-bp insertion (4684insA) on the opposite allele, did not segregate with the FAP phenotype in the family and was therefore considered as being non-pathogenic. The other (Z1625H) was located 2 codons before a 1-bp deletion (4897delC). Both mutations were transmitted together from an FAP father to his affected son. The FAP phenotype of these 10 novel truncating mutations was clinically documented within their kindreds. Important variability was observed in the phenotype. Interestingly, we noted that a mutation (487insT) localized at the boundary of the 5' attenuated APC phenotype region in two unrelated families resulted in classical polyposis. A clear-cut genotype-phenotype correlation could be drawn in only two instances. In one family, a 4684insA mutation led to a mild polyposis associated with early inherited osteomas and, in the family bearing the double mutation (Z1625H + 4897delC), the phenotype was obviously a 3' attenuated type. Our data illustrate the wide genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity of this condition between and within the families, making the establishment of correlations complex and any prediction in this disease difficult, although targeting the mutation site may be helpful in some specific cases.