Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) is the most common childhood sarcoma and is a component of the familial pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB)-predisposition syndrome. Using the PPB model, we hypothesized that DICER1 mutations would be found in familial and sporadic forms of ERMS. Blood samples from four children with familial PPB and ERMS, and 52 sporadic ERMS tumors were tested for DICER1 mutations. Germline DICER1 mutations were found in all four patients with familial PPB and 2 of 52 (3.8%) sporadic ERMS had somatic mutations. Our findings confirm the pathogenetic relationship between ERMS and PPB suggesting that ERMS may result from abnormal miRNA regulation.