Spinocerebellar ataxia type 11 (SCA11) is a rare type of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia, mainly characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia, abnormal eye signs and dysarthria. SCA11 is caused by variants in TTBK2, which encodes tau tubulin kinase 2 (TTBK2) protein. Only a few families with SCA11 were described to date, all harbouring small deletions or insertions that result in frameshifts and truncated TTBK2 proteins. In addition, TTBK2 missense variants were also reported but they were either benign or still needed functional validation to ascertain their pathogenic potential in SCA11. The mechanisms behind cerebellar neurodegeneration mediated by TTBK2 pathogenic alleles are not clearly established. There is only one neuropathological report and a few functional studies in cell or animal models published to date. Moreover, it is still unclear whether the disease is caused by TTBK2 haploinsufficiency of by a dominant negative effect of TTBK2 truncated forms on the normal allele. Although TTBK2 has a proven function in cilia formation, the phenotype caused by heterozygous TTBK2 truncating variants are not clearly typical of ciliopathies. Thus, other cellular mechanisms may explain the phenotype seen in SCA11. Read the full article here.