A T-to-C transition mutation at nucleotide position 3,250 in the mitochondrial tRNA(Leu)(UUR) gene was present in a family with mitochondrial myopathy. Two of three muscle biopsies examined had complex I (NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase) deficiency. Heteroplasmy of wild and mutant mitochondrial DNA was detected by Nae I digestion of the polymerase chain reaction products with a modified primer. This was found in blood or muscle samples or both from all seven members examined. Similar to the 3,243 mutation in most patients with MELAS (mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes), the new mutation site was located in the dihydrouridine loop and embedded in the binding region of mitochondrial transcription termination factor. Elucidation of the effects of this mutation may help clarify the role of mitochondrial tRNAs and transcription termination.