We have characterized 18 germline and 10 in vivo somatic mutations in the human adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) gene. Both germline and in vivo somatic mutations were clustered at the intron 4 splice donor site and at codon 87. In vitro somatic mutations in human APRT do not appear to show this clustering. These findings suggest that the spectrum of germline mutations in APRT may be similar to that incurred by somatic cells in vivo, but different from that seen in cultured cells. Thus, in vivo, rather than in vitro, somatic mutations in this gene may be more representative of mutational events occurring in the germline.