Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disease with complex clinical features. Autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism (AR-JP) maps to the long arm of chromosome 6 (6q25.2-q27) and is linked strongly to the markers D6S305 and D6S253; the former is deleted in one Japanese AR-JP patient. By positional cloning within this microdeletion, we have now isolated a complementary DNA done of 2,960 base pairs with a 1,395-base-pair open reading frame, encoding a protein of 465 amino acids with moderate similarity to ubiquitin at the amino terminus and a RING-finger motif at the carboxy terminus. The gene spans more than 500 kilobases and has 12 exons, five of which (exons 3-7) are deleted in the patient. Four other AR-JP patients from three unrelated families have a deletion affecting exon 4 alone. A 4.5-kilobase transcript that is expressed in many human tissues but is abundant in the brain, including the substantia nigra, is shorter in brain tissue from one of the groups of exon-4-deleted patients. Mutations in the newly identified gene appear to be responsible for the pathogenesis of AR-JP, and we have therefore named the protein product 'Parkin'.