We have identified a novel mitochondrial (mt) DNA mutation in the tRNA(Phe)-gene in a patient with an isolated mitochondrial myopathy. This T to C transition at position 618 disrupts a strictly conserved base pair within the anticodon stem of tRNA(Phe). Computer analysis showed that the affected base pair is essential for anticodon stem formation of tRNA(Phe). The mutant mtDNA was heteroplasmic in skeletal muscle (95% mutant) and peripheral blood cells (20% mutant) from the patient but was undetectable in blood cells from his healthy sister. The patient presented with ragged red fibers and reduced activities of complex I and complex III in skeletal muscle. The T618C mutation described here is the second found in this region. Both mutations affect the same base pair of the tRNA(Phe) anticodon stem substantiating the pathogenic nature of both mutations.