Skip Navigation
Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions About   Site Map   Contact Us
Home A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®
Printer-friendly version


Reviewed November 2008

What is the official name of the ATN1 gene?

The official name of this gene is “atrophin 1.”

ATN1 is the gene's official symbol. The ATN1 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.

What is the normal function of the ATN1 gene?

The ATN1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called atrophin 1. Although the exact function of this protein is unknown, it appears to play an important role in nerve cells (neurons) in many areas of the brain. Based on studies in other animals, researchers speculate that atrophin 1 may act as a transcriptional co-repressor. A transcriptional co-repressor is a protein that interacts with other DNA-binding proteins to suppress the activity of certain genes, although it cannot attach (bind) to DNA by itself.

One region of the ATN1 gene contains a particular DNA segment known as a CAG trinucleotide repeat. This segment is made up of a series of three DNA building blocks (cytosine, adenine, and guanine) that appear multiple times in a row. In most people, the number of CAG repeats in the ATN1 gene ranges from 6 to 35.

How are changes in the ATN1 gene related to health conditions?

dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy - caused by mutations in the ATN1 gene

Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) results from an increased number of copies (expansion) of the CAG trinucleotide repeat in the ATN1 gene. In people with this condition, the CAG segment is abnormally repeated at least 48 times, and the repeat region may be two or three times its usual length. Although the extended CAG region changes the structure of atrophin 1, it is unclear how the altered protein damages brain cells. Researchers believe that abnormal atrophin 1 accumulates in neurons and interferes with normal cell functions. The dysfunction and eventual death of neurons in many parts of the brain lead to involuntary movements, intellectual decline, and the other characteristic features of DRPLA.

Where is the ATN1 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 12p13.31

Molecular Location on chromosome 12: base pairs 6,924,463 to 6,942,321

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The ATN1 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 12 at position 13.31.

The ATN1 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 12 at position 13.31.

More precisely, the ATN1 gene is located from base pair 6,924,463 to base pair 6,942,321 on chromosome 12.

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

Where can I find additional information about ATN1?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ATN1 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 ATN1 gene or gene products?

  • atrophin-1
  • B37
  • D12S755E
  • dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy protein
  • NOD

Where can I find general information about genes?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.

What glossary definitions help with understanding ATN1?

adenine ; aggregate ; atrophy ; cell ; co-repressor ; cytosine ; DNA ; gene ; guanine ; involuntary ; mutation ; protein ; repressor ; trinucleotide repeat

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (7 links)


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: November 2008
Published: February 8, 2016