GM1-gangliosidosis is a lysosomal storage disease caused by a deficiency of acid beta-galactosidase. Three clinical forms are recognized-infantile, juvenile, and adult-based on age of onset and severity of the symptoms. We have performed molecular analysis of a large cohort of GM1 patients (19 Brazilian and one Uruguayan), using nonradioactive single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and restriction enzyme analysis of genomic DNA. Six novel mutations (R121S, V240M, D491N, 638-641insT, 895-896insC, 1622-1627insG) and two previously described point mutations (R59H, R208C) were identified. Together they accounted for 90% of the disease alleles of the patients. Two mutations, 1622-1627insG and R59H, were present in 18 of 20 patients. In addition, four polymorphisms (L10P, L12L, R521C, S532G) were identified. All cases reported are infantile GM1 gangliosidosis. This report constitutes the most comprehensive molecular study to date of this disorder in infantile patients. Since GM1-gangliosidosis is the most common lysosomal storage disorder in Southern Brazil, molecular diagnosis will be important for genetic counseling, carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis in index families.