Autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (AR LGMDs) are a genetically heterogeneous group of disorders that affect mainly the proximal musculature. There are eight genetically distinct forms of AR LGMD, LGMD 2A-H (refs 2-10), and the genetic lesions underlying these forms, except for LGMD 2G and 2H, have been identified. LGMD 2A and LGMD 2B are caused by mutations in the genes encoding calpain 3 (ref. 11) and dysferlin, respectively, and are usually associated with a mild phenotype. Mutations in the genes encoding gamma-(ref. 14), alpha-(ref. 5), beta-(refs 6,7) and delta (ref. 15)-sarcoglycans are responsible for LGMD 2C to 2F, respectively. Sarcoglycans, together with sarcospan, dystroglycans, syntrophins and dystrobrevin, constitute the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). Patients with LGMD 2C-F predominantly have a severe clinical course. The LGMD 2G locus maps to a 3-cM interval in 17q11-12 in two Brazilian families with a relatively mild form of AR LGMD (ref. 9). To positionally clone the LGMD 2G gene, we constructed a physical map of the 17q11-12 region and refined its localization to an interval of 1.2 Mb. The gene encoding telethonin, a sarcomeric protein, lies within this candidate region. We have found that mutations in the telethonin gene cause LGMD 2G, identifying a new molecular mechanism for AR LGMD.