Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) a multisystem disorder primarily characterized by cerebellar degeneration, telangiectasia, immunodeficiency, cancer susceptibility and radiation sensitivity. Identification of the gene defective in this syndrome, ataxia-telangiectasia mutated gene (ATM), and further characterization of the disorder together with a greater insight into the function of the ATM protein have expanded our knowledge about the molecular pathogenesis of this disease. Area covered: In this review, we have attempted to summarize the different roles of ATM signaling that have provided new insights into the diverse clinical phenotypes exhibited by A-T patients. Expert commentary: ATM, in addition to DNA repair response, is involved in many cytoplasmic roles that explain diverse phenotypes of A-T patients. It seems accumulation of DNA damage, persistent DNA damage response signaling, and chronic oxidative stress are the main players in the pathogenesis of this disease.
Keywords: ATM gene; Ataxia telangiectasia; DNA repair; cancer; immunodeficiency; neurodegeneration.