Sotos syndrome (SoS) is characterized by pre- and postnatal overgrowth with advanced bone age; a dysmorphic face with macrocephaly and pointed chin; large hands and feet; mental retardation; and possible susceptibility to tumors. It has been shown that the major cause of SoS is haploinsufficiency of the NSD1 gene at 5q35, because the majority of patients had either a common microdeletion including NSD1 or a truncated type of point mutation in NSD1. In the present study, we traced the parental origin of the microdeletions in 26 patients with SoS by the use of 16 microsatellite markers at or flanking the commonly deleted region. Deletions in 18 of the 20 informative cases occurred in the paternally derived chromosome 5, whereas those in the maternally derived chromosome were found in only two cases. Haplotyping analysis of the marker loci revealed that the paternal deletion in five of seven informative cases and the maternal deletion in one case arose through an intrachromosomal rearrangement, and two other cases of the paternal deletion involved an interchromosomal event, suggesting that the common microdeletion observed in SoS did not occur through a uniform mechanism but preferentially arose prezygotically.