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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®


Reviewed March 2015

What is the official name of the ATL1 gene?

The official name of this gene is “atlastin GTPase 1.”

ATL1 is the gene's official symbol. The ATL1 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

What is the normal function of the ATL1 gene?

The ATL1 gene provides instructions for producing a protein called atlastin-1. Atlastin-1 is produced primarily in the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system), particularly in nerve cells (neurons) that extend down the spinal cord (corticospinal tracts). These neurons send electrical signals that lead to voluntary muscle movement. In neurons, this protein is found mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum, which is a structure involved in protein processing and distribution. Atlastin-1 fuses together the network of tubules that make up the structure of the endoplasmic reticulum. Atlastin-1 is also active in compartments called axonal growth cones, which are located at the tip of neurons. The axonal growth cones direct the growth of specialized extensions, called axons, which transmit nerve impulses that signal muscle movement. Within axonal growth cones, atlastin-1 acts during development to help guide the growth of axons.

How are changes in the ATL1 gene related to health conditions?

spastic paraplegia type 3A - caused by mutations in the ATL1 gene

Approximately 60 mutations in the ATL1 gene have been found to cause spastic paraplegia type 3A. This condition is characterized by muscle stiffness (spasticity) and weakness of the lower limbs (paraplegia), which begin in childhood. Most of the mutations that cause spastic paraplegia type 3A change one protein building block (amino acid) in the atlastin-1 protein. These mutations likely lead to abnormal activity of atlastin-1, which impairs the functioning of neurons, including the distribution of materials within these cells. This lack of functional atlastin-1 protein can also restrict the growth of axons. Within the long neurons of the corticospinal tracts, these problems can lead to cell death. As a result, the neurons are unable to transmit nerve impulses, particularly to other neurons and muscles in the lower extremities. This impaired nerve function leads to the signs and symptoms of spastic paraplegia type 3A.

other disorders - caused by mutations in the ATL1 gene

Mutations in the ATL1 gene have been found to cause a condition called hereditary sensory neuropathy type ID. This condition is characterized by nerve abnormalities in the legs and feet (peripheral neuropathy). Many people with this condition experience prickling or tingling sensations (paresthesias), absent reflexes, weakness, and a reduced ability to feel pain. Affected individuals often get open sores (ulcers) on their feet, and because they cannot feel the pain of these sores, they may not seek immediate treatment. Without treatment, the ulcers can become infected and may require amputation of the surrounding area.

At least four ATL1 gene mutations have been found to cause hereditary sensory neuropathy type ID. These mutations impair nerve cell function and decrease transmission of nerve impulses, similar to the effects of ATL1 gene mutations that cause spastic paraplegia type 3A (described above). It is unclear why some ATL1 gene mutations cause hereditary sensory neuropathy type ID and others cause spastic paraplegia type 3A.

Where is the ATL1 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 14q22.1

Molecular Location on chromosome 14: base pairs 50,533,082 to 50,633,068

The ATL1 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 14 at position 22.1.

The ATL1 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 14 at position 22.1.

More precisely, the ATL1 gene is located from base pair 50,533,082 to base pair 50,633,068 on chromosome 14.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? ( in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about ATL1?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ATL1 helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the ATL1 gene or gene products?

  • AD-FSP
  • atlastin
  • atlastin1
  • FSP1
  • GBP3
  • guanylate-binding protein 3

See How are genetic conditions and genes named? ( in the Handbook.

What glossary definitions help with understanding ATL1?

amino acid ; axons ; cell ; central nervous system ; cones ; endoplasmic reticulum ; gene ; hereditary ; nerve cell ; nervous system ; neuropathy ; paraplegia ; peripheral ; peripheral neuropathy ; protein ; sensory neuropathy ; spasticity ; voluntary muscle

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.


  • Byrnes LJ, Sondermann H. Structural basis for the nucleotide-dependent dimerization of the large G protein atlastin-1/SPG3A. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 8;108(6):2216-21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1012792108. Epub 2011 Jan 10. (
  • Ivanova N, Claeys KG, Deconinck T, Litvinenko I, Jordanova A, Auer-Grumbach M, Haberlova J, Löfgren A, Smeyers G, Nelis E, Mercelis R, Plecko B, Priller J, Zámecník J, Ceulemans B, Erichsen AK, Björck E, Nicholson G, Sereda MW, Seeman P, Kremensky I, Mitev V, De Jonghe P. Hereditary spastic paraplegia 3A associated with axonal neuropathy. Arch Neurol. 2007 May;64(5):706-13. (
  • Leonardis L, Auer-Grumbach M, Papić L, Zidar J. The N355K atlastin 1 mutation is associated with hereditary sensory neuropathy and pyramidal tract features. Eur J Neurol. 2012 Jul;19(7):992-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2012.03665.x. Epub 2012 Feb 16. (
  • McCorquodale DS 3rd, Ozomaro U, Huang J, Montenegro G, Kushman A, Citrigno L, Price J, Speziani F, Pericak-Vance MA, Züchner S. Mutation screening of spastin, atlastin, and REEP1 in hereditary spastic paraplegia. Clin Genet. 2011 Jun;79(6):523-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2010.01501.x. (
  • Moss TJ, Daga A, McNew JA. Fusing a lasting relationship between ER tubules. Trends Cell Biol. 2011 Jul;21(7):416-23. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2011.03.009. Epub 2011 May 6. Review. (
  • NCBI Gene (
  • Zhu PP, Soderblom C, Tao-Cheng JH, Stadler J, Blackstone C. SPG3A protein atlastin-1 is enriched in growth cones and promotes axon elongation during neuronal development. Hum Mol Genet. 2006 Apr 15;15(8):1343-53. Epub 2006 Mar 14. (


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Reviewed: March 2015
Published: November 23, 2015