Deficiency in coagulation factor IX, a plasma glycoprotein constituent of the clotting cascade, results in hemophilia B, an inherited recessive X-linked bleeding disorder. Some affected individuals, referred to as antigen positive or CRM+, express an inactive factor IX gene product at normal levels and are expected to have natural mutations altering domains of the molecule that are critical for its correct function. The serine protease catalytic domain of activated factor IX, encoded by exons VII and VIII of the gene, is a possible target for such mutations. We designed a strategy allowing rapid analysis of this region through enzymatic amplification of genomic DNA, analysis of the amplification products by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and direct sequencing of the fragments displaying an altered melting behavior. This procedure permitted us to characterize two previously undescribed mutations. Factor IX Angers is a G-to-A substitution generating an Arg in place of a Gly at amino acid 396 of the mature factor IX protein. Factor IX Bordeaux is an A-to-T substitution introducing a nonsense codon in place of the normal codon for Lys at position 411. Moreover, the already described factor IX Vancouver defect was found in three apparently independent families. These results provide further insight into the molecular heterogeneity of hemophilia B. In addition, we demonstrate the usefulness of this rapid screening procedure, which has broad applications in human genetics and can be used as an alternative to RFLP analysis in carrier detection or prenatal diagnosis studies.