We have analyzed 98.5% of the coding region of the NF1 gene at the cDNA level in seven NF1 patients who developed malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Seven germline mutations were detected in six individuals: a 6-bp in-frame deletion in exon 28, a splice acceptor mutation in intron 31 resulting in a premature stop of translation, a missense mutation in exon 38, and three total NF1 gene deletions. In one of the patients with a total NF1 gene deletion, a missense mutation in exon 16 on the other NF1 allele was detected. These data indicate that NF1 patients developing malignant neoplasms can have any type of NF1 germline mutation such as a total gene deletion, a frameshift mutation, an in-frame deletion, or a missense mutation. We conclude that in our series no specific type of NF1 germline mutation was found in NF1 individuals with malignancies, but that large NF1 gene deletions were more frequently found in this group than reported for the general population of NF1 individuals. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 26:376-380, 1999.