BACKGROUND Nephropathic cystinosis is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the CTNS gene, encoding for cystinosin, a carrier protein transporting cystine out of lysosomes. Its deficiency leads to cystine accumulation and cell damage in multiple organs, especially in the kidney. In this study, we aimed to provide the first report describing the mutational spectrum of Egyptian patients with nephropathic cystinosis and their genotype-phenotype correlation. METHODS Fifteen Egyptian patients from 13 unrelated families with infantile nephropathic cystinosis were evaluated clinically, biochemically, and genetically. Screening for the common 57-kb deletion was performed by standard multiplex PCR, followed by direct sequencing of the ten coding exons, exon-intron interfaces, and promoter region. RESULTS None of the 15 Egyptian patients had the 57-kb deletion. Twenty-seven mutant alleles and 12 pathogenic mutations were detected including six novel mutations: two frameshift (c.260_261delTT; p.F87SfsX36, c.1032delCinsTG; p.F345CfsX19), one nonsense (c.734G>A; p.W245fsX), two missense (c.1084G>A; pG362R, c.560A>G; p.K187R), and one intronic splicing mutation (IVS3+5g>t). A novel promoter region mutation (1-593-41C>T) seemed to be detected but was excluded as a pathogenic mutation by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. CONCLUSIONS This study could be the basis for future genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis of patients with nephropathic cystinosis in Egyptian and surrounding populations. The screening for the 57-kb deletion is not recommended anymore outside its geographical distribution, especially in the region of the Middle East. A common Middle Eastern mutation (c.681G>A; E227E) was pointed out and discussed.