Fibrillin-1 (FBN1) contains 47 epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domains characterized by six conserved cysteine residues. Cysteine substitutions that disrupt one of the three disulfide bonds are frequent causes of Marfan syndrome (MFS). We identified 19 new substitutions involving cysteine residues in each of the six positions of EGF-like domains. Allele-specific mRNA assays revealed equal abundance of mutant and normal FBN1 transcripts in all 10 individuals studied. Quantitative pulse-chase analysis of fibrillin protein was performed on 25 mutant fibroblast strains with substitutions of 22 different cysteine residues in 18 different EGF-like domains spanning the entire gene. Normal synthesis and stability of mutant fibrillin molecules was seen in 20/25 individuals, 11 of whom showed delayed intracellular processing and/or secretion. In the remaining five cases, the mutant protein was apparently unstable. In four of these five cases, the second or third disulfide bond of EGF-like domains immediately preceding an 8-cysteine or hybrid domain was affected. All but two mutations caused severe reduction of matrix deposition, which was attributed to a dominant-negative effect of mutant molecules. For genotype/phenotype comparisons, clinical data on 25 probands and 19 mutation-positive family members were analyzed. Ocular manifestations were among the most consistent features (ectopia lentis in 86%, myopia in 80%). Nine mutations encoded by exons 26-32 resulted in early-onset classic MFS and, in one case, neonatal-lethal MFS. Mutations outside this region were associated with variable clinical phenotypes, including individuals with fibrillinopathies not meeting diagnostic criteria for MFS.