The interpretation of the numerous sequence variants of unknown biological and clinical significance (UV for "unclassified variant") found in genetic screenings represents a major challenge in the molecular diagnosis of genetic disease, including cancer susceptibility. A fraction of UVs may be deleterious because they affect mRNA splicing. Here, we describe a functional splicing assay based on a minigene construct that assesses the impact of sequence variants on splicing. A genomic segment encompassing the variant sequence of interest along with flanking intronic sequences is PCR-amplified from patient genomic DNA and is cloned into a minigene vector. After transient transfection into cultured cells, the splicing patterns of the transcripts generated from the wild-type and from the variant constructs are compared by reverse transcription-PCR analysis and sequencing. This method represents a complementary approach to reverse transcription-PCR analyses of patient RNA, for the identification of pathogenic splicing mutations.