Ataxia telangiectasia (AT) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by cerebellar ataxia, telangiectasia, immunodeficiency, elevated alpha-fetoprotein levels, chromosomal instability, predisposition to cancer, and radiation sensitivity. We report the identification of a new, double missense mutation in the ataxia telangiectasia gene (ATM) of a Dutch family. This homozygous mutation consists of two consecutive base substitutions in exon 55: a T-->G transversion at position 7875 of the ATM cDNA and a G-->C transversion at position 7876. These transversions were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction/primer-induced restriction analysis with CelII. The double base substitution results in an amino acid change of an aspartic acid to a glutamic acid at codon 2625 and of an alanine to a proline at codon 2626 of the ATM protein. Both amino acids are conserved between the ATM protein and its functional homolog, the Atm gene product in the mouse. Furthermore, the Chou-Fasman and Robson predictions both demonstrate a change in the secondary structure of the ATM protein carrying the D2625E/A2626P mutation. These findings suggest that the double base substitution in the ATM gene is a disease-causing mutation.