We report the identification of a new mutation in exon 28 of the von Willebrand factor (VWF) gene in two related patients with type 2M von Willebrand disease (VWD). The molecular abnormality changes the Ser 1285 to Phe within the A1 loop of VWF. The S1285F mutation was reproduced by site-directed mutagenesis on the full-length VWF cDNA. The mutated recombinant VWF (rVWF), F1285rVWF, and the hybrid, S/F1285rVWF, were expressed in COS-7 cells. F1285rVWF exhibited a slight decrease of high-molecular-weight multimers and markedly reduced ristocetin- or botrocetin-induced binding of VWF to platelets in association with a decreased binding to botrocetin. The hybrid S/F1285rVWF showed a normal multimeric profile and bound to platelets in a similar way to the patients' plasma VWF, in the presence of ristocetin or botrocetin. Thus, the new S1285F mutation within the A1 loop was responsible for the type 2M VWD observed in these patients, and was involved in the binding of VWF to botrocetin and to platelet glycoprotein Ib (GPIb). Three anti-VWF monoclonal antibodies, with conformational epitopes within the A1 loop but distinct GPIb binding inhibitory properties, showed a different interaction with F1285rVWF. These results indicate that the S1285F substitution alters the folding of the A1 loop and prevents the correct exposure of the VWF binding sites to botrocetin and GPIb.