Primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1) is an inborn error of metabolism resulting from a deficiency of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGXT; EC 184.108.40.206). Most of the PH1 alleles detected in the Canary Islands carry the Ile-244 --> Thr (I244T) mutation in the AGXT gene, with 14 of 16 patients homozygous for this mutation. Four polymorphisms within AGXT and regional microsatellites also were shared in their haplotypes (AGXT*LTM), consistent with a founder effect. The consequences of these amino acid changes were investigated. Although I244T alone did not affect AGXT activity or subcellular localization, when present in the same protein molecule as Leu-11 --> Pro (L11P), it resulted in loss of enzymatic activity in soluble cell extracts. Like its normal counterpart, the AGXT*LTM protein was present in the peroxisomes but it was insoluble in detergent-free buffers. The polymorphism L11P behaved as an intragenic modifier of the I244T mutation, with the resulting protein undergoing stable interaction with molecular chaperones and aggregation. This aggregation was temperature-sensitive. AGXT*LTM expressed in Escherichia coli, as a GST-fusion protein, and in insect cells could be purified and retained enzymatic activity. Among various chemical chaperones tested in cell culture, betaine substantially improved the solubility of the mutant protein and the enzymatic activity in cell lysates. In summary, I244T, the second most common mutation responsible for PH1, is a protein conformational disease that may benefit from new therapies with pharmacological chaperones or small molecules to minimize protein aggregation.