Senile systemic amyloidosis (SSA) is a late-onset disease characterized by deposition of amyloid fibrils containing transthyretin (TTR). Amino acid sequencing of protein isolated from the amyloid fibrils of a patient with SSA identified TTR containing a position - 122 isoleucine-for-valine substitution. This change led to the prediction of a genomic G-to-A transition, destroying an MaeIII restriction site. We confirmed the presence of the variant DNA fragment both by Southern blotting and by visualization of MaeIII digests of DNA amplified around codon 122, by using the polymerase chain reaction. The patient's DNA was entirely resistant to MaeIII cleavage; therefore, only the mutant sequence was present. DNA from none of either 24 controls or six other SSA patients contained the variant. Quantitative Southern blotting demonstrated that the patient's DNA contained two copies of the TTR gene per genome; the mutation was therefore homozygous rather than hemizygous. In the present case, the homozygous mutation TTR (122 Val----Ile) is associated with SSA, a finding which is consistent with autosomal recessive inheritance of this condition.