Mutations in the transforming growth factor beta type II receptor (TGFbeta RII) gene have been detected in several human cancers exhibiting microsatellite instability. To extend analyses of this gene, we previously investigated the exon-intron organization of the TGFbeta RII gene and defined seven exons and flanking intron sequences. In this study, we further determined the nucleotide sequences surrounding these seven exons and designed eight sets of intron-based primers to examine the entire coding region of the TGFbeta RII gene. Using these primers, we screened genomic DNA sequences from 30 sporadic colorectal cancers for mutations of the TGFbeta RII gene. TGFbeta RII mutations were detected in two of 30 tumors and both displayed microsatellite instability. One had a deletion in a polyadenine tract in exon 3 and the other had a point mutation in the kinase domain located in exon 7. There were no mutations in exons 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6. These results further implicate the polyadenine tract and kinase domain as mutational hotspots in the TGFbeta RII gene in cells with genomic instability and suggest that TGFbeta RII gene mutations occur rarely in cells lacking genomic instability.