SCA6 is caused by moderate CAG expansion in the α(1A)-voltage-dependent calcium channel gene

Olaf Riess, Ludger Schöls, Heike Böttger, Dagmar Nolte, Ana Maria Menezes Vieira-Saecker, Carmen Schimming, Friedmar Kreuz, Milan Macek, Alice Krebsová, Milan Macek, Thomas Klockgether, Christine Zühlke, Franco A. Laccone

113 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, moderate (CAG)(>20) repeat expansions in the α(1A)-voltage-dependent calcium channel gene (CACNL1A4) have been identified in a previously unmapped type of SCA which has been named SCA6. We investigated the (CAG)(n) repeat length of the CACNL1A4 gene in 733 patients with sporadic ataxia and in 46 German families with dominantly inherited SCA which do not harbor the SCA1, SCA2, or MJD1/SCA3 mutation, respectively. The SCA6 (CAG)(n) expansion was identified in 32 patients most frequently with late manifestation of the disease. The (CAG)(n) stretch of the affected allele varied between 22 and 28 trinucleotide units and is therefore the shortest trinucleotide repeat expansion causing spinocerebellar ataxia. The (CAG)(n) repeat length is inversely correlated with the age at onset. In 11 parental transmissions of the expanded allele no repeat instability has been observed. Repeat instability was also not found for the normal allele investigating 431 meioses in the CEPH families. Analyzing 248 apparently healthy octogenerians revealed one allele of 18 repeats which is the longest normal CAG repeat in the CACNL1A4 gene reported. The SCA6 mutation causes the disease in ~ 10% of autosomal dominant SCA in Germany. Most importantly, the trinucleotide expansion was observed in four ataxia patients without obvious family history of the disease which necessitates a search for the SCA6 (CAG)(n) expansion even in sporadic patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1289-1293
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 08.1997

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Medical Genetics


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