Mandibuloacral dysplasia (MAD) is a rare autosomal recessive progeroid syndrome, characterized by mandibular hypoplasia, acroosteolysis affecting distal phalanges and clavicles, delayed closure of the cranial sutures, atrophic skin, and lipodystrophy. Recently, mutations in lamin A/C (LMNA) and zinc metalloprotease (ZMPSTE24), involved in post-translational processing of prelamin A to mature lamin A, have been identified in MAD kindreds. We now report novel compound heterozygous mutations in exon 1 (c.121C>T; p.Q41X) and exon 6 (c.743C>T; p.P248L) in ZMPSTE24 in two Japanese sisters, 7- and 3-year old, with severe MAD and characteristic facies and atrophic skin. The older sister had lipodystrophy affecting the chest and thighs but sparing abdomen. Their parents and a brother, who were healthy, had heterozygous mutations. The missense mutation, P248L, was not found in 100 normal subjects of Japanese origin. The mutant Q41X was inactive in a yeast halo assay; however, the mutant P248L retained near normal ZMPSTE24 activity. Immunoblots demonstrated accumulation of prelamin A in the patients' cell lysates from lymphoblasts. The lymphoblasts from the patients also revealed less intense staining for lamin A/C on immunofluorescence. We conclude that ZMPSTE24 deficiency results in accumulation of farnesylated prelamin A, which may be responsible for cellular toxicity and the MAD phenotype.