Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is usually associated with protein truncating mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. The APC mutations are known to play a major role in colorectal carcinogenesis. For the identification of protein truncating mutations of the APC gene, we developed a rapid, sensitive, and direct screening procedure. The technique is based on the in vitro transcription and translation of the genomic PCR products and is called the protein truncation test. Samples of DNA from individual FAP patients, members of a FAP family, colorectal tumors, and colorectal tumor-derived cell lines were used to show the effectiveness of this method.