Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) comprise a diverse range of clinical manifestations. To date, more than 30 single gene causes of lupus/lupus like syndromes in humans have been identified. In the clinical setting, identifying the underlying molecular diagnosis is challenging due to phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Methods: We employed whole exome sequencing (WES) in patients presenting with childhood-onset lupus with severe and/or atypical presentations to identify cases that are explained by a single-gene (monogenic) cause. Results: From January 2015 to June 2018 15 new cases of childhood-onset SLE were diagnosed in Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital. By WES we identified causative mutations in four subjects in five different genes: C1QC, SLC7A7, MAN2B1, PTEN and STAT1. No molecular diagnoses were established on clinical grounds prior to genetic testing. Conclusions: We identified a significant fraction of monogenic SLE etiologies using WES and confirm the genetic locus heterogeneity in childhood-onset lupus. These results highlight the importance of establishing a genetic diagnosis for children with severe or atypical lupus by providing accurate and early etiology-based diagnoses and improving subsequent clinical management.