Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA (MPS IVA) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfate sulfatase (GALNS; EC 188.8.131.52). The deficiency of N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfate sulfatase leads to lysosomal accumulation of undegraded glycosaminoglycans, keratan sulfate and chondroitin-6-sulfate. Mutation screening of the GALNS gene was performed by SSCP and direct sequence analyses using genomic DNA samples from 10 Morquio A patients. By nonradioactive SSCP screening, 6 different gene mutations and 2 polymorphisms were identified in 10 severely affected MPS IVA patients. Five of the mutations and one of the polymorphisms are novel. The vast majority of the gene alterations were found to be single nucleotide deletions (389delG, 929delG, and 763delT) or insertions (1232-1233insT). The other two mutations were one previously identified missense mutation (Q473X) and one novel nonsense (P179S) mutation. Together they account for 95% of the disease alleles of the patients investigated. Beside mutations, one previously identified E477 polymorphism and one novel W520 polymorphism were found among Turkish MPS IVA patients. (C) 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.