Patients with Ullrich's disease have generalized muscle weakness, multiple contractures of the proximal joints, and hyperextensibility of the distal joints. Recently, we found a deficiency of collagen VI protein in two patients with Ullrich's disease. In this study, we detected a homozygous 26 bp deletion in exon 14 of the collagen VI alpha 2 gene (COL6A2) in one patient. This mutation causes a frameshift and a premature termination codon, and results in a truncated collagen VI alpha 2 chain. Our data suggest that at least some cases of Ullrich's disease result from recessive mutations in COL6A2.