During an ethylnitrosourea mutagenesis screen, Aey5, a new mouse mutation exhibiting an autosomal dominant congenital cataract was isolated. The cataractous phenotype is visible at the eye opening and progresses to a nuclear and zonular cataract at 2 months of age with no difference in onset or severity between heterozygous and homozygous mutants. Histological analysis revealed that fiber cell differentiation continues at the lens bow region, but the cell nuclei do not degrade normally and remain in the deeper cortex. Further, the lens nucleus has clefts of various sizes while the remainder of the eye was morphologically normal. The mutation was mapped to chromosome 3 between the markers D3Mit101 andD3Mit77 near the connexin encoding genes Gja5 and Gja8. Sequence analysis revealed no differences in theGja5 gene, but identified a T→C mutation at position 191 in the Gja8 gene, which was confirmed by an additional Mva 12691 restriction site in the genomic DNA of homozygous mutants. This mutation results in Val→Ala substitution at codon 64 of connexin50 (Cx50) also known as lens membrane protein 70 (MP70). Aey5 represents the second dominant mouse cataract mutant affecting Cx50, a membrane protein preferentially expressed in the lens. Since both mutations affect similar regions in the first extracellular domain this region appears to be critically important for its function in lens transparency.