Human neutrophil antigen 2 (HNA-2) deficiency is a common phenotype as 3–5% humans do not express HNA-2. HNA-2 is coded by CD177 gene that associates with human myeloproliferative disorders. HNA-2 deficient individuals are prone to produce HNA-2 alloantibodies that cause a number of disorders including transfusion-related acute lung injury and immune neutropenia. In addition, the percentages of HNA-2 positive neutrophils vary significantly among individuals and HNA-2 expression variations play a role in human diseases such as myelodysplastic syndrome, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and gastric cancer. The underlying genetic mechanism of HNA-2 deficiency and expression variations has remained a mystery. In this study, we identified a novel CD177 nonsense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP 829A>T) that creates a stop codon within the CD177 coding region. We found that all 829TT homozygous individuals were HNA-2 deficient. In addition, the SNP 829A>T genotypes were significantly associated with the percentage of HNA-2 positive neutrophils. Transfection experiments confirmed that HNA-2 expression was absent on cells expressing the CD177 SNP 829T allele. Our data clearly demonstrate that the CD177 SNP 829A>T is the primary genetic determinant for HNA-2 deficiency and expression variations. The mechanistic delineation of HNA-2 genetics will enable the development of genetic tests for diagnosis and prognosis of HNA-2-related human diseases.