Heterozygous missense and splice-site mutations in the tau gene have been previously identified in familial frontotemporal dementia with autosomal dominant inheritance. Here we report a Spanish kindred in which two brothers born from a third-degree consanguineous marriage were both affected with atypical progressive supranuclear palsy. A homozygous deletion at codon 296 (delN296) was identified in one of the affected siblings. Among the heterozygous carriers, two members with probable Parkinson's disease were identified, but none of heterozygotes developed atypical parkinsonism. The delN296 mutation lies in the sequence corresponding to the second tubulin-binding repeat of tau protein and affects one asparagine residue absolutely conserved in other species. This finding indicates that homozygous mutations in the tau gene may also cause hereditary tauopathies.