Crigler-Najjar syndrome types I and II (CN1 and CN2) are usually inherited as autosomal recessive conditions and are characterized by non-hemolytic unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia. CN1 is the most severe form, associated with the absence of hepatic bilirubin-uridinediphosphoglucuronate glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1A1) activity. CN2 presents intermediate levels of hyperbilirubinaemia as a result of an incomplete deficiency of hepatic UGT1A1 activity. Here, we present the analysis of UGT1A1 gene in 31 unrelated Crigler-Najjar (CN) syndrome patients. This analysis allowed us to identify 22 mutations, 12 of which were no previously described, expanding the spectrum of known UGT1 mutations to 77. Novel mutations, considered pathogenic, including one nonsense mutation, two altered splice sites, one single base deletion and nine missense mutations were identified in coding exons of the UGT1A1gene and flanking introns. Several novel missense mutations localize in critical domain of UGT1A1 enzyme. In addition, the evaluation of Gilbert-type promoter of UGT1A1in Crigler-Najjar (CN) syndrome patients was performed. The polymorphisms of the promoter region can modify the UGT1A1 mutation phenotype. This study represents the molecular characterization of the largest cohort of Italian Crigler-Najjar Gilbert syndrome patients studied so far; increase the mutational spectrum of UGT1A1 allelic variants worldwide and provide a new insight useful for clinical diagnosis and genetic counseling. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.