Familial adenomatous polyposis has been linked to germline mutations in the APC tumor suppressor gene. However, a number of patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (with either classical or attenuated phenotype) have no APC mutation. Recently, germline mutations in the Wnt pathway component gene AXIN2 have been associated with tooth agenesis-colorectal cancer syndrome. Moreover, biallelic mutations in the base excision repair gene MUTYH have been associated with polyposis and early-onset colorectal cancer. The aim of this study was to further assess the contribution of AXIN2 and MUTYH to hereditary colorectal cancer susceptibility. AXIN2 and MUTYH genes were screened for germline mutations by PCR and direct sequencing in 39 unrelated patients with multiple adenomas or colorectal cancer without evidence of APC mutation nor mismatch repair defect. Two novel AXIN2 variants were detected in one patient with multiple adenomas, but no clearly pathogenic mutation. In contrast, nine different MUTYH mutations were detected in eight patients, including four novel mutations. Biallelic MUTYH mutations were only found in patients with multiple adenomatous polyposis (7 out of 22 (32%)). Interestingly, five MUTYH mutation carriers had a family history consistent with dominant inheritance. Moreover, one patient with biallelic MUTYH mutations presented with multiple adenomas and severe tooth agenesis. Therefore, germline mutations are rare in AXIN2 but frequent in MUTYH in patients with multiple adenomas. Our data suggest that genetic testing of MUTYH may be of interest in patients with pedigrees apparently compatible with autosomal recessive as well as dominant inheritance. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.