X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a peroxisomal disorder characterized by impaired peroxisomal betaoxidation of very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs). This is probably due to reduced activation of the VLCFAs and results in demyelination of the nervous system and adrenocortical insufficiency. The ALD gene is localized on Xq28, has 10 exons and encodes a protein of 745 amino acids with significant homology to the membrane peroxisomal protein PMP70. Characterizing the disease causing mutations is of importance in prenatal diagnosis because 12-20% of women who are obligatory carriers show false-negative results when tested for VLCFA in plasma. We have analyzed DNA from blood samples of 7 Jewish (5 Sephardi and 2 Ashkenazi) and 3 Arab Israeli families suffering from ALD. Five missense-type mutations were identified: R104H, Y174C, L229P, R401Q, and G512C. A single mutation, R464X, was nonsense, and two, Y171 frameshift and E471 frameshift, were frameshift. Interestingly, a single mutation was identified in three families of Moroccan Jewish descent, probably due to a founder effect.