Low and high molecular weight kininogens (LK and HK), containing 409 and 626 amino acids with masses of approximately 65 and 120 kDa after glycosylation, respectively, are coded by a single gene mapped to the human chromosome 3 by alternative splicing of the transcribed mRNA. The NH2-termini Glu1-Thr383 region, identical in LK and HK, contains bradykinin (BK) moieties Arg363-Arg371. LK, HK and their kinin products Lys-BK and BK are involved in several biologic processes. They are evolutionarily conserved and only 7 patients, all apparently normal, have been reported to lack them. In one of these patients (Williams' trait), a codon mutation (Arg178-->stop) has been blamed for the absence of LK and HK. However, using Western blots with 2 monoclonal anti-HK antibodies, one that recognizes the region common to LK and HK and the other that recognizes only HK, 1 detected approximately 110-kDa bands in the plasma of this LK/HK-deficient patient vs approximately 120-kDa bands in normal human and ape plasmas. With polyclonal anti-Lys-BK antibody, which strongly detects BK cleaved at its COOH-terminus in purified HK, 1 detected approximately 110-kDa bands in the normal and the deficient plasmas. Western blots with a monoclonal anti-prekallikrein (PK) antibody showed that surface activation of PK and distribution of PK activation products, both dependent on HK, were similar in these plasmas. These findings suggest that a mutant gene yielded a kininogen-like species possibly involving aberrant mRNA splicing-structurally different from normal HK, but apparently with the capacity to carry out seemingly vital HK functions.