An estimated 7% of all breast cancers and 10% of all ovarian cancers are associated with inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The mutations of a breast cancer-susceptible gene, BRCA1, confers increased risk of breast cancer in young women. Numerous studies have reported specific mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the white population. However, there are very few studies on African-American and other ethnic minority groups. The goal of this study is to identify whether African-American patients with breast cancer carry some common mutations reported in other ethnic groups and whether they carry some novel mutations. We screened hot-region mutations on exons 2, 5, 11, 16, and 20 of BRCA1 gene in 54 African-American patients with breast cancer by NIRCA and SSCP methods. Our data revealed one novel frameshift mutation (3331 insG) and three missense sequence variants (A3537G, A3667G, and C4009T) on exon 11. Each sequence change was confirmed by automatic DNA sequencing. One rare sequence variant, A3537G, has been revealed in high frequency (3/54). Our data suggested that African-American patients with breast cancer carry some unique BRCA1 gene mutations.