Résumé : Two siblings with congenital goiter were investigated from clinical, biochemical, and molecular biology standpoints. The association of clinical and biological hypothyroidism with undetectable levels of serum thyroglobulin (Tg) and the presence of iodohistidines in the urine suggested the diagnosis of defective Tg gene expression. This conclusion was confirmed by analysis of proteins present in goiter extracts. Only minute amounts of Tg-related material was detected by RIA (0.28 and 0.17 mg/g tissue compared to 80-100 mg/g in normal thyroid tissue), by Sepharose 6B chromatography, and by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Surprisingly, the goiters contained normal amounts of Tg mRNA. The size of the mRNA and the sequence organization of its first five exons also were normal. We conclude that no gross alteration of structure or transcription of the Tg gene was present in these patients. The results are compatible with a lesion affecting the mRNA sequence (point mutation, splicing error etc.), leading to defective translation or abnormal routing of the translation product through the membrane system of the cell. This latter hypothesis is supported by the extreme distension of the goiter endoplasmic reticulum found on electron microscopy.