Absence of mutations in ATM, the gene responsible for ataxia telangiectasia in patients with cerebellar ataxia

Sharon Hassin-Baer*, Yochanan Goldhammer, Anat Bar-Shira, Shlomit Gilad, Yaron Galanty, Rami Khosravi, Yosef Shiloh, Alexander Lossos, Nir Giladi, Rafael Weitz, Bruria Ben-Zeev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) is an autosomal recessive multisystem disorder presenting in childhood with progressive cerebellar ataxia, oculocutaneous telangiectasia, immune deficiency, radiosensitivity, and cancer predisposition. The gene for AT, designated ATM (AT, mutated) encodes a protein with a carboxy-terminal phosphoinositide-3 kinase domain which is involved in cell cycle checkpoints and other responses to genotoxic stress. Most of the patients with the classical AT phenotype are homozygous or compound heterozygous for severe mutations causing truncation or destabilization of the ATM protein. Patients with a milder forms of disease, called AT variants, have been found to be either homozygous for milder mutations or compound heterozygotes for null alleles and mild mutations. In order to define the clinical phenotype of patients homozygous (or compound heterozygotes) for other, milder mutations, we decided to search for ATM mutations in patients with either sporadic or familial idiopathic ataxia. Thirty-four patients with idiopathic cerebellar ataxia, aged 3-77 years, were screened for mutations in the ATM coding region. There were 12 familial cases. None of the patients had abnormal immunoglobulin or α-fetoprotein levels, and none had mutations in the ATM coding region. In this heterogeneous group of patients with cerebellar ataxia we found no mutations in the ATM gene. We conclude that mutations in the ATM gene are probably not a common cause for cerebellar ataxia other than AT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-719
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999


  • ATM
  • Ataxia telanglectasia
  • Cerebellar ataxia


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