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Redox Rep. 2003;8(1):23-9.

Oxidative stress in ataxia telangiectasia.

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School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Redox Rep. 2003;8(2):120.


Ataxia telangiectasia is one of a group of recessive hereditary genomic instability disorders and is characterized by progressive neurodegeneration, immunodeficiency and cancer susceptibility. Heterozygotes for the mutated gene are more susceptible to cancer and to ischaemic heart disease. The affected gene, ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated), has been cloned and codes for a protein kinase (ATM), which orchestrates the cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks after ionising radiation. An underlying feature of ataxia telangiectasia is oxidative stress and there is chronic activation of stress response pathways in tissues showing pathology such as the cerebellum, but not in the cerebrum or liver. ATM has also been shown to be activated by insulin and to have a wider role in signal transduction and cell growth. Many, but not all, aspects of the phenotype can be attributed to a defective DNA damage response. The oxidative stress may result directly from accumulated DNA damage in affected tissues or ATM may have an additional role in sensing/modulating redox homeostasis. The basis for the observed tissue specificity of the oxidative damage in ataxia telangiectasia is not clear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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