Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is caused by loss of function of paternally expressed genes in the 15q11-q13 region and a paucity of data exists on transcriptome variation. To further characterize genetic alterations in this classic obesity syndrome using whole genome microarrays to analyze gene expression, microarray and quantitative RT-PCR analysis were performed using RNA isolated from lymphoblastoid cells from PWS male subjects (four with 15q11-q13 deletion and three with UPD) and three age and cognition matched nonsyndromic comparison males. Of more than 47,000 probes examined in the microarray, 23,383 were detectable and 323 had significantly different expression in the PWS lymphoblastoid cells relative to comparison cells, 14 of which were related to neurodevelopment and function. As expected, there was no evidence of expression of paternally expressed genes from the 15q11-q13 region (e.g., ANRPN) in the PWS cells. Alterations in expression of serotonin receptor genes (e.g., HTR2B) and genes involved in eating behavior and obesity (ADIPOR2, MC2R, HCRT, OXTR) were noted. Other genes of interest with reduced expression in PWS subjects included STAR (a key regulator of steroid synthesis) and SAG (an arrestin family member which desensitizes G-protein-coupled receptors). Quantitative RT-PCR for SAG, OXTR, STAR, HCRT, and HTR2B using RNA isolated from their lymphoblastoid cells and available brain tissue (frontal cortex) from separate individuals with PWS and control subjects and normalized to GXPD gene expression levels validated our microarray gene expression data. Our analysis identified previously unappreciated changes in gene expression which may contribute to the clinical manifestations seen in PWS. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.