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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Triple A syndrome


Other Names for this Disease
  • AAA
  • AAA syndrome
  • Achalasia Addisonianism Alacrimia syndrome
  • Achalasia alacrima syndrome
  • Addisonian achalasia syndrome
More Names
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Cause


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What causes triple A syndrome?

Mutations in the AAAS gene cause triple A syndrome in many affected individuals. This gene provides instructions for making a protein called ALADIN, whose function is not well understood. Within cells, ALADIN is found in the nuclear envelope, the structure that surrounds the nucleus and separates it from the rest of the cell. Based on its location, ALADIN is thought to be involved in the movement of molecules into and out of the nucleus of the cell. Mutations in the AAAS gene prevent this protein from reaching its proper location in the cell, which may disrupt the movement of molecules. Researchers suspect that DNA repair proteins may be unable to enter the nucleus if ALADIN is missing from the nuclear envelope. DNA damage that is not repaired can cause the cell to become unstable and lead to cell death. Although the nervous system is particularly vulnerable to DNA damage, it remains unknown exactly how mutations in the AAAS gene lead to the signs and symptoms of triple A syndrome. Some individuals with triple A syndrome do not have an identified mutation in the AAAS gene; in these individuals, the genetic cause of the disorder is unknown.[1]
Last updated: 2/9/2011

References
  1. Triple A syndrome. Genetics Home Reference. February 2010; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/triple-a-syndrome. Accessed 2/8/2011.