Atlastin-1, also known as Spastic paraplegia 3 protein A, Guanine nucleotide-binding protein 3, GTP-binding protein 3, GBP3, ATL1 and SPG3A, is a multi-pass membrane protein which belongs to theGBP family and atlastin subfamily. ATL1 / SPG3A is expressed predominantly in the adult and fetal central nervous system. Expression of ATL1 / SPG3A in adult brain is at least 5-fold higher than in other tissues. ATL1 / SPG3A is detected predominantly in pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus of the brain. ATL1 / SPG3A is also expressed in upper and lower motor neurons (at protein level). A distinguishing feature of ATL1 / SPG3A is its frequent early onset, raising the possibility that developmental abnormalities may be involved in its pathogenesis. Missense SPG3A mutant atlastin-1 proteins have impaired GTPase activity and may act in a dominant-negative, loss-of-function manner by forming mixed oligomers with wild-type atlastin-1. Defects in ATL1 / SPG3A are the cause of spastic paraplegia autosomal dominant type 3 (SPG3), also known as Strumpell-Lorrain syndrome. Spastic paraplegia is a degenerative spinal cord disorder characterized by a slow, gradual, progressive weakness and spasticity of the lower limbs.
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