Ataxia-pancytopenia syndrome is a rare condition that affects the part of the brain that coordinates movement (the cerebellum) and blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. The age when signs and symptoms begin, the severity of the condition, and the rate at which it worsens all vary among affected individuals.
Ataxia-pancytopenia syndrome is caused by inherited mutations in the SAMD9L gene. The protein produced from this gene is involved in regulating the growth and division (proliferation) and maturation (differentiation) of cells, particularly cells in the bone marrow that give rise to blood cells. Studies suggest that the SAMD9L protein acts as a tumor suppressor, keeping cells from growing and dividing too rapidly or in an uncontrolled way. The SAMD9L protein also appears to play an important role in the brain, particularly the cerebellum, although less is known about the protein's function there.
Ataxia-pancytopenia syndrome appears to be very rare. At least 25 affected individuals from four families have been described in the medical literature.
This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In all reported cases, an affected person has had one parent with the condition.
Published Date: September 01, 2017Published By: National Institutes of Health
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