Peroxisome-biogenesis disorders (PBD) are genetically heterogeneous and can be classified into at least ten complementation groups. We recently isolated the cDNA for rat peroxisome assembly factor-2 (PAF-2) by functional complementation using the peroxisome-deficient Chinese-hamster-ovary cell mutant, ZP92. To clarify the novel pathogenic gene of PBD, we cloned the full-length human PAF-2 cDNA that morphologically and biochemically restores peroxisomes of group C Zellweger fibroblasts (the same as group 4 in the Kennedy-Krieger Institute) and identified two pathogenic mutations in the PAF-2 gene in two patients with group C Zellweger syndrome. The 2,940-bp open reading frame of the human PAF-2 cDNA encodes a 980-amino-acid protein that shows 87.1% identity with rat PAF-2 and also restored the peroxisome assembly after gene transfer to fibroblasts of group C patients. Direct sequencing of the PAF-2 gene revealed a homozygous 1-bp insertion at nucleotide 511 (511 insT) in one patient with group C Zellweger syndrome (ZS), which introduces a premature termination codon in the PAF-2 gene, and, in the second patient, revealed a splice-site mutation in intron 3 (IVS3+1G-->A), which skipped exon 3, an event that leads to peroxisome deficiency. Chromosome mapping utilizing FISH indicates that PAF-2 is located on chromosome 6p21.1. These results confirm that human PAF-2 cDNA restores peroxisome of group C cells and that defects in the PAF-2 produce peroxisome deficiency of group C PBD.