We examined a mutant human apolipoprotein B (apoB) allele that causes hypobetalipoproteinemia and has a single cytosine deletion in exon 26. This frameshift mutation was associated with the synthesis of a truncated apoB protein of the predicted size; however, studies in human subjects and minigene expression studies in cultured cells indicated that the mutant allele also yielded a full-length apoB protein. The 1-base-pair deletion in the mutant apoB allele created a stretch of eight consecutive adenines. To understand the mechanism whereby the mutant apoB allele yielded a full-length apoB protein, the cDNA from cells transfected with the mutant apoB minigene expression vector was examined. Splicing of the mRNA was normal; however, 11% of the cDNA clones had an additional adenine within the stretch of eight adenines, yielding nine consecutive adenines. The insertion of the extra adenine, presumably during apoB gene transcription, is predicted to restore the correct apoB reading frame, thereby permitting the synthesis of a full-length apoB protein.