Crude barium chloride eluates prepared from 12 unrelated patients with cross-reacting material positive (CRM+) haemophilia B were activated with celite eluate, the reaction products resolved after reduction by 13% SDS-PAGE, and factor IX antigenic material detected by probing with radiolabelled immunopurified rabbit anti-factor IX antiserum followed by autoradiography. Out of the 12, one sample showed faulty activation with the production of a stable reaction product with a MW compatible with that of a putative light chain-activation intermediate. In order to confirm this, two oligonucleotide primers that bracketed exon 6 of the factor IX gene were constructed and used to prime a polymerase chain reaction on DNA isolated from the patient's peripheral blood leucocytes. A single 489 nucleotide DNA fragment was obtained, gel purified, subcloned into M13, and DNA sequencing carried out on both strands. A single C to T transition was discovered that changed the Arg residue at position 145, the first residue of the first bond in the activation peptide, to a Cys, a result that confirmed the inferences drawn from the activation studies.