We report that the 3' splice site associated with the alternatively spliced exon 6 of the Fas receptor CD95 displays strict sequence requirements and that a mutation that disrupts this particular sequence arrangement leads to constitutive exon 6 skipping in a patient suffering from autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS). Specifically, we find an absolute requirement for RCAG/G at the 3' splice site (where R represents purine, and / indicates the intron/exon boundary) and the balance between exon inclusion and skipping is exquisitely sensitive to single nucleotide variations in the uridine content of the upstream polypyrimidine (Py)-tract. Biochemical experiments revealed that the ALPS patient mutation reduces U2 snRNP recruitment to the 3' splice site region and that this effect cannot be explained by decreased interaction with the U2 snRNP Auxiliary Factor U2AF, whose 65- and 35-kDa subunits recognize the Py-tract and 3' splice site AG, respectively. The effect of the mutation, which generates a tandem of two consecutive AG dinucleotides at the 3' splice site, can be suppressed by increasing the distance between the AGs, mutating the natural 3' splice site AG or increasing the uridine content of the Py-tract at a position distal from the 3' splice site. The suppressive effects of these additional mutations correlate with increased recruitment of U2 snRNP but not with U2AF binding, again suggesting that the strict architecture of Fas intron 5 3' splice site region is tuned to regulate alternative exon inclusion through modulation of U2 snRNP assembly after U2AF binding.