Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is the most common form of congenital cardiovascular defect in humans and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Emerging evidence demonstrates that genetic risk factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of BAV. However, BAV is a genetically heterogenous disorder, and the genetic defects underpinning BAV in most patients remain to be identified. In the present study, the coding exons and flanking introns of the NKX2.5 gene, which encodes a homeodomain-containing transcription factor essential for the normal development of the aortic valve, were sequenced in 142 unrelated patients with BAV. The available relatives of the mutation carrier and 200 unrelated healthy subjects used as controls were also genotyped for NKX2.5. The functional characteristics of the mutation were delineated by using a dual-luciferase reporter assay system. As a result, a novel heterozygous NKX2.5 mutation, p.K192X, was identified in a family with BAV transmitted in an autosomal dominant pattern. The nonsense mutation was absent in 400 control chromosomes. Functional analyses revealed that the mutant NKX2.5 had no transcriptional activity compared with its wild-type counterpart. Furthermore, the mutation abolished the synergistic transcriptional activation between NKX2.5 and GATA5, another transcription factor crucial for the aortic valvular morphogenesis. In conclusion, this study is the first to link an NKX2.5 loss-of-function mutation to enhanced susceptibility to human BAV, providing novel insight into the molecular mechanism of BAV and suggesting potential implications for genetic counseling and clinical care of families presenting with BAV.