The DJ-1 gene encodes a ubiquitous, highly conserved protein. Here, we show that DJ-1 mutations are associated with PARK7, a monogenic form of human parkinsonism. The function of the DJ-1 protein remains unknown, but evidence suggests its involvement in the oxidative stress response. Our findings indicate that loss of DJ-1 function leads to neurodegeneration. Elucidating the physiological role of DJ-1 protein may promote understanding of the mechanisms of brain neuronal maintenance and pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease.