Summary. Objective: To elucidate the molecular consequences of hereditary protein S (PS) deficiency, we investigated the in vitro synthesis of the PS missense mutants in COS-1 cells and their activated protein C (APC) cofactor activities. Patients: Four patients with quantitative PS deficiency suffering from venous thrombosis were examined. Results: We identified three distinct novel missense mutations, R275C, P375Q and D455Y, and two previously reported missense mutations, C80Y and R314H. The P375Q and D455Y mutations were found in one patient and observed to be in linkage on the same allele. The R314H mutant showed the lowest level of expression (32.7%), and the C80Y, P375Q + D455Y, and R275C mutants exhibited a moderate impairment of expression, that is, 43.8%, 49.5%, and 72.3% of the wild type, respectively. Furthermore, pulse-chase experiments demonstrated that all mutants showed impaired secretion and longer half-lives in the cells than the wild type PS. In the APC cofactor assays, the C80Y mutant showed no cofactor activity, and the R275C mutant showed reduced activity, 62.3% of the wild type PS, whereas the R314H and P375Q + D455Y mutants exhibited normal cofactor activity. Conclusion: These data indicate that the C80Y and R275C mutations affect the secretion and function of the PS molecule, and that the R314H and P375Q + D455Y mutations are responsible for only secretion defects, causing the phenotype of quantitative PS deficiency observed in the patients.