Most cases of hemochromatosis are associated with mutations of the HFE gene on Ch6p. In southern Italy and central Alabama, the percentages of patients with hemochromatosis who have "atypical" HFE genotypes (defined as lack of C282Y homozygosity, C282Y/H63D compound heterozygosity, or H63D homozygosity) are relatively great. A mutation of the transferrin receptor-2 gene (TFR2; exon 6, nt 750 C → G, replaces TAC with stop signal TAG; Y250X) on Ch7q22 was recently identified in two Sicilian families with HFE mutation-negative hemochromatosis. We wanted to estimate the frequency of this mutation in persons from central Alabama. We evaluated Caucasian hemochromatosis probands with atypical HFE genotypes and African Americans with primary iron overload. We also studied control Caucasians, including persons of southern Italian/Sicilian heritage, and control African Americans. Analysis of genomic DNA was performed using a PCR-sequence-specific priming assay and positive control specimens from Sicilian hemochromatosis subjects heterozygous and homozygous for Y250X. Among Alabama subjects, this allele was not detected in 113 Caucasians, including 21 hemochromatosis probands with atypical HFE genotypes and 92 normal control subjects (including 27 of southern Italian/Sicilian descent). In African Americans, Y250X was not detected in 20 index cases with primary iron overload or in 274 unrelated control subjects. We conclude that Y250X is uncommon in Caucasians with hemochromatosis associated with atypical HFE genotypes, in African Americans with primary iron overload, and in the general Caucasian and African American population subgroups in central Alabama. © 2001 Academic Press.