Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is an autosomal recessive disorder with locus heterogeneity. None of the 'responsible' genes have previously been identified. Some BBS cases (approximately 10%) remain unassigned to the five previously mapped loci. McKusick-Kaufma syndrome (MKS) includes hydrometrocolpos, postaxial polydactyly and congenital heart disease, and is also inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. We ascertained 34 unrelated probands with classic features of BBS including retinitis pigmentosa (RP), obesity and polydactyly. The probands were from families unsuitable for linkage because of family size. We found MKKS mutations in four typical BBS probands (Table 1). The first is a 13-year-old Hispanic girl with severe RP, PAP, mental retardation and obesity (BMI >40). She was a compound heterozygote for a missense (1042GA, G52D) and a nonsense (1679TA, Y264stop) mutation in exon 3. Cloning and sequencing of the separate alleles confirmed that the mutations were present in trans. A second BBS proband (from Newfoundland), born to consanguineous parents, was homozygous for two deletions (1316delC and 1324-1326delGTA) in exon 3, predicting a frameshift. An affected brother was also homozygous for the deletions, whereas an unaffected sibling had two normal copies of MKKS. Both the proband and her affected brother had RP, PAP, mild mental retardation, morbid obesity (BMI >50 and 37, respectively), lobulated kidneys with prominent calyces and diabetes mellitus (diagnosed at ages 33 and 30, respectively). A deceased sister (DNA unavailable) had similar phenotypic features (RP with blindness by age 13, BMI >45, abnormal glucose tolerance test and IQ=64, vaginal atresia and syndactyly of both feet). Both parents and the maternal grandfather were heterozygous for the deletions. Genotyping with markers from the MKKS region confirmed homozygosity at 20p12 in both affected individuals.