In an inbred Iraqi Jewish family, we have studied three siblings with presenile cataract first noticed between the ages of 20 and 51 years and segregating in an autosomal recessive mode. Using microsatellite repeat markers in close proximity to 25 genes and loci previously associated with congenital cataracts in humans and mice, we identified five markers on chromosome 19q that cosegregated with the disease. Sequencing of LIM2, one of two candidate genes in this region, revealed a homozygous T→G change resulting in a phenylalanine-to-valine substitution at position 105 of the protein. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first report, in humans, of cataract formation associated with a mutation in LIM2. Studies of late-onset single-gene cataracts may provide insight into the pathogenesis of the more common age-related cataracts.