Inactivating mutations in the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) cause familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH) and neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT). Earlier investigations showed patients with FHH are heterozygous, and NSHPT are homozygous for inactivating mutations. However, one adult patient with severe hypercalcaemia and hypocalciuria has been reported to have a homozygous inactivating mutation in CaSR (Pro39Ala). This suggested that mutant CaSR in this patient had some residual activity and hypercalcaemia was not so severe as to be fatal. However, the function of this mutant CaSR was not evaluated. In the present study, we describe a novel homozygous mutation in an adult patient with severe hypercalcaemia and hypocalciuria, and evaluate the function of the mutant CaSRs. The DNA sequence of CaSR gene was determined by direct sequencing of the polymerase chain reaction product. The function of mutant CaSR was analysed by creating mutant cDNAs by in vitro mutagenesis, transfection of mutant cDNAs into HEK293 cells and measuring intracellular ionized Ca in response to changes in extracellular Ca. A 26-year-old Japanese woman showed marked hypercalcaemia with an elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) level. Her consanguineous parents had asymptomatic hypercalcaemia with relative hypocalciuria. The proband had a homozygous mutation at codon 27 of CaSR gene (CAA-->CGA, Gln27Arg). Her parents were heterozygous for this mutation. EC50 for Ca of this mutant CaSR (GIn27Arg) was 4.9 mM. EC50 of another mutant CaSR (Pro39Ala) whose homozygous mutation was discovered in an adult patient was 4.4 mM. These EC50s were significantly higher than that of wild-type CaSR (3.7} 0.1 mM), but were the lowest among the reported EC50s for inactivating mutations of CaSR. These results indicate that serum Ca and PTH levels are determined by residual function of mutant CaSR in patients with homozygous mutation in CaSR, and that patients having homozygous mutant CaSRs with mild dysfunction do not suffer from fatal hypercalcaemia in infancy and can survive into adulthood.