The tricho-rhino-phalangeal syndromes (TRPS type I, II, and III) are autosomal dominant disorders sharing the following characteristics: slowly growing and sparse scalp hair, medially thick and laterally thin eyebrows, bulbous tip of the nose, long flat philtrum, thin upper lip with vermilion border, and protruding ears. In addition, individuals with TRPS generally share skeletal and bone anomalies, including shortening of the phalanges and metacarpals (mild to severe brachydactyly), cone-shaped epiphyses, hip dysplasia, and short stature. The etiology of the different types of TRPS can result from either single base pair mutations, or the complete deletion of the TRPS1 gene, which encodes a zinc-finger transcription factor located on chromosomal band 8q24.1. We have identified nine heterozygous mutations, five novel and four recurrent, in unrelated families diagnosed with TRPS. The five novel mutations identified show 1- or 2-bp deletions and a single base substitution, whereas all of the recurrent mutations are single base substitutions. Seven of the nine mutations result in a premature stop codon, leading to a truncated, nonfunctional TRPS1 protein. The final two mutations are missense mutations in the GATA DNA binding zinc finger, which is believed to be important for the protein's normal function.