Biallelic, truncating mutations of the hSNF5/INI1 gene have recently been documented in malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT), one of the most aggressive human cancers. This finding suggests that hSNF5/INI1 is a new tumor-suppressor gene for which germline mutations might predispose to cancer. We now report the presence of loss-of-function mutations of this gene in the constitutional DNA from affected members but not from healthy relatives in cancer-prone families. Furthermore, a constitutional mutation is documented in a patient with two successive primary cancers. In agreement with the two-hit model, the wild-type hSNF5/INI1 allele is deleted in the tumor DNA from mutation carriers. In all tested cases, DNA from parents demonstrated normal hSNF5/INI1 sequences, therefore indicating the de novo occurrence of the mutation, which was shown to involve the maternal allele in one case and the paternal allele in two other cases. These data indicate that constitutional mutation of the hSNF5/INI1 gene defines a new hereditary syndrome predisposing to renal or extrarenal MRT and to a variety of tumors of the CNS, including choroid plexus carcinoma, medulloblastoma, and central primitive neuroectodermal tumor. This condition, which we propose to term "rhabdoid predisposition syndrome," may account for previous observations of familial and multifocal cases of the aforementioned tumor types. It could also provide the molecular basis for cases of Li-Fraumeni syndrome without p53 germline mutations.