Two individuals with an X-chromosomal deletion were recently found to lack the genes encoding monoamine oxidase type A (MAO-A) and MAO-B. This abnormality was associated with almost total (90%) reductions in the oxidatively deaminated urinary metabolites of the MAO-A substrate, norepinephrine, and with marked (100-fold) increases in an MAO-B substrate, phenylethylamine, confirming systemic functional consequences of the genetic enzyme deficiency. However, urinary concentrations of the deaminated metabolites of dopamine and serotonin (5-HT) were essentially normal. To investigate other deaminating systems besides MAO-A and MAO-B that might produce these metabolites of dopamine and 5-HT, we examined plasma amine oxidase (AO) activity in these two patients and two additional patients with the same X-chromosomal deletion. Normal plasma AO activity was found in all four Norrie disease-deletion patients, in four patients with classic Norrie disease without a chromosomal deletion, and in family members of patients from both groups. Marked plasma amine metabolite abnormalities and essentially absent platelet MAO-B activity were found in all four Norrie disease-deletion patients, but in none of the other subjects in the two comparison groups. These results indicate that plasma AO is encoded by gene(s) independent of those for MAO-A and MAO-B, and raise the possibility that plasma AO, and perhaps the closely related tissue AO, benzylamine oxidase, as well as other atypical AOs or MAOs encoded independently from MAO-A and MAO-B may contribute to the oxidative deamination of dopamine and 5-HT in humans.