Since the first identification of an association between mutations in the connexin26 (Cx26) gene and autosomal recessive non-syndromic deafness it has been shown that several mutations in this gene cause recessive, sporadic, and dominant non-syndromic deafness. Three novel mutations in the Cx26 gene were identified in four of 20 Japanese families with autosomal recessive non-syndromic deafness. Seven of 40 chromosomes contained a 233delC allele, while Tyr136Stop (408C-->A) and Gly45Glu (134G-->A) were detected in two of 40 chromosomes, respectively. These mutations were not found in chromosomes in cases of sporadic congenital deafness (0/60) or in control groups (0/100). This indicates that 27.5% (11/40 chromosomes) of cases of autosomal recessive non-syndromic deafness among the Japanese are caused by mutations in the Cx26 gene.