Complete hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) deficiency causes the Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, an X-linked, purine metabolism disorder manifested by hyperuricemia, hyperuricaciduria, and neurologic dysfunction. Partial HPRT deficiency causes hyperuricemia and gout. One requirement for understanding the molecular basis of HPRT deficiency is the determination of which amino acids in this salvage enzyme are necessary for structural or catalytic competence. In this study we have used the PCR coupled with direct sequencing to determine the nucleotide and subsequent amino acid changes in 22 subjects representing 17 unrelated kindreds from the United Kingdom. These mutations were confirmed by using either RNase mapping or Southern analyses. In addition, experiments were done to determine enzyme activity and electrophoretic mobility, and predictive paradigms were used to study the impact of these amino acid substitutions on secondary structure.