Genome-wide analysis of a multi-incident family with autosomal-dominant parkinsonism has implicated a locus on chromosomal region 3q26-q28. Linkage and disease segregation is explained by a missense mutation c.3614G>A (p.Arg1205His) in eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4-gamma (EIF4G1). Subsequent sequence and genotype analysis identified EIF4G1 c.1505C>T (p.Ala502Val), c.2056G>T (p.Gly686Cys), c.3490A>C (p.Ser1164Arg), c.3589C>T (p.Arg1197Trp) and c.3614G>A (p.Arg1205His) substitutions in affected subjects with familial parkinsonism and idiopathic Lewy body disease but not in control subjects. Despite different countries of origin, persons with EIF4G1 c.1505C>T (p.Ala502Val) or c.3614G>A (p.Arg1205His) mutations appear to share haplotypes consistent with ancestral founders. eIF4G1 p.Ala502Val and p.Arg1205His disrupt eIF4E or eIF3e binding, although the wild-type protein does not, and render mutant cells more vulnerable to reactive oxidative species. EIF4G1 mutations implicate mRNA translation initiation in familial parkinsonism and highlight a convergent pathway for monogenic, toxin and perhaps virally-induced Parkinson disease.