Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is one of the main causes of childhood blindness. To date, mutations in eight genes have been described, which together account for approximately 45% of LCA cases. We localized the genetic defect in a consanguineous LCA-affected family from Quebec and identified a splice defect in a gene encoding a centrosomal protein (CEP290). The defect is caused by an intronic mutation (c.2991+1655A-->G) that creates a strong splice-donor site and inserts a cryptic exon in the CEP290 messenger RNA. This mutation was detected in 16 (21%) of 76 unrelated patients with LCA, either homozygously or in combination with a second deleterious mutation on the other allele. CEP290 mutations therefore represent one of the most frequent causes of LCA identified so far.