We performed detailed clinical, histopathological, biochemical, in vitro translation and molecular genetic analysis in patients from two unrelated families harbouring the tRNA(SerUCN) 7472C-insertion mutation. Proband 1 developed a progressive neurodegenerative phenotype characterised by myoclonus, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia and progressive hearing loss. Proband 2 had a comparatively benign phenotype characterised by isolated myopathy with exercise intolerance. Both patients had the 7472C-insertion mutation in identical proportions and they exhibited a similar muscle biochemical and histopathological phenotype. However, proband 2 also had a previously unreported homoplasmic A to C transition at nucleotide position 7472 in the tRNA(SerUCN) gene. This change lengthens further the homopolymeric C run already expanded by the 7472C-insertion. These data extend the phenotypic range associated with the 7472C-insertion to include isolated skeletal myopathy, as well as a MERRF-like phenotype.