Autosomal dominantly inherited spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders primarily affecting the cerebellum. Genetically, 26 different loci have been identified so far, although the corresponding gene has not yet been determined for 10 of them. Recently, mutations in the ATPase family gene 3-like 2 gene were presented to cause SCA type 28. To define the frequency of SCA28 mutations, we performed molecular genetic analyses in 140 unrelated familial cases with ataxia. Among other variations, we found a novel missense mutation at an evolutionarily conserved amino-acid position using a single-strand conformation polymorphism approach, followed by DNA sequencing. This amino-acid exchange p.E700K was detected in a four-generation German family and was not observed in a survey of 400 chromosomes from healthy control individuals.