Microsatellite instability of DNA samples of 79 sporadic colon cancer patients were analyzed. These samples were also screened to search mutations in the repeat sequences in the gene for the type II receptor of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta RII) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), electrophoresis with urea gel, and PCR-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) method. The incidence of microsatellite instability, defined as severe replication error phenotype (RER) with microsatellite alterations in more than three loci, was 6%. Deletion and insertion of an A residue in the (A)10 region, which cause frameshift mutation, were found in four samples and their incidence in the samples with microsatellite instability was 80%. A novel nucleotide substitution of T for G at 1918, which causes missense mutation of arginine to leucine at codon 528, was found in a sample with microsatellite instability. The mutation at 1918 was in highly conservative amino acid residue.