Protein-chemical and molecular studies were conducted on all osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type III/IV patients referred to our hospital during the last 15 y. Of a total of 16 OI type III/IV patients studied, 15 patients were heterozygous for a mutation in one of the two genes coding for collagen I, COL1A1 or COL1A2. Cultured fibroblasts from these 15 patients produced both normal and abnormal collagen I molecules, pointing to a dominant-negative effect of the mutation. Nine mutations had not been described previously. Parental mosaicism was demonstrated in three families. In the 16th child the causative mutation was not found. In conclusion, OI type III/IV in most patients of Western European ancestry is caused by dominant mutations in the genes for collagen I, and recurrence of OI is caused in most cases by parental gonadal mosaicism.