Leucine-rich repeat kinase 1 gene (LRRK1) on chromosome 15q26.3 is a paralog of LRRK2 in which multiple substitutions were recently linked to Parkinson's disease. We have examined the exon-intron structure of the gene and the expressed mRNA sequence in brain. LRRK1 sequencing analysis in 95 probands from families with autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease identified 23 variants, 14 of which are novel, with four resulting in non-synonymous amino acid substitutions. These four substitutions are rare and do not clearly segregate with disease within our families or associate with sporadic Parkinson's disease in a US case-control series. Subsequent sequencing of exon 26 encoding the kinase activation segment in an additional 360 probands identified one further synonymous variant, suggesting that LRRK1 variants are not a frequent cause of Parkinson's disease. The relative absence of substitutions within LRRK1 highlights a greater conservation of sequence than observed for LRRK2. Comparison of evolutionary interspecies sequences of LRRK1 and LRRK2 suggests they diverged from a common founder gene. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.