Autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia is a group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders. We carried out genomewide linkage analysis in 15 families with autosomal dominant pure cerebellar ataxia (ADPCA). Evidence for linkage to chromosome 19p markers was found in nine families, and combined multipoint analysis refined the candidate region to a 13.3-cM interval in 19p13.1-p13.2. The remaining six families were excluded for this region. Analysis of CAG-repeat expansion in the alpha1A-voltage-dependent calcium channel (CACNL1A4) gene lying in 19p13.1, recently identified among 8 small American kindreds with ADPCA (spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 [SCA6]), revealed that 8 of the 15 families studied had similar, very small expansion in this gene: all affected individuals had larger alleles (range of CAG repeats 21-25), compared with alleles observed in neurologically normal Japanese (range 5-20 repeats). Inverse correlation between the CAG-repeat number and the age at onset was found in affected individuals with expansion. The number of CAG repeats in expanded chromosomes was completely stable within each family, which was consistent with the fact that anticipation was not statistically proved in the SCA6 families that we studied. We conclude that more than half of Japanese cases of ADPCA map to 19p13.1-p13.2 and are strongly associated with the mild CAG expansion in the SCA6/CACNL1A4 gene.