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Guo, L. PANK2 Gene. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 07 December 2023).
Guo L. PANK2 Gene. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed December 07, 2023.
Guo, Lily. "PANK2 Gene" Encyclopedia, (accessed December 07, 2023).
Guo, L.(2020, December 25). PANK2 Gene. In Encyclopedia.
Guo, Lily. "PANK2 Gene." Encyclopedia. Web. 25 December, 2020.
PANK2 Gene

pantothenate kinase 2


1. Introduction

The PANK2 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called pantothenate kinase 2. This enzyme is active in specialized cellular structures called mitochondria, which are the cell's energy-producing centers. Within mitochondria, pantothenate kinase 2 regulates the formation of a molecule called coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is found in all living cells, where it is essential for the body's production of energy from carbohydrates, fats, and some protein building blocks (amino acids).

PANK2 is one of four human genes that provide instructions for making versions of pantothenate kinase. The functions of these different versions probably vary among tissue types and parts of the cell. The version produced by the PANK2 gene is active in cells throughout the body, including nerve cells in the brain.

2. Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

2.1. Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration

About 100 mutations in the PANK2 gene have been identified in people with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. Typically, people with the more severe, early-onset form of the disorder have PANK2 mutations that prevent cells from producing any functional pantothenate kinase 2. People affected by the atypical, later-onset form usually have mutations that change single amino acids in the enzyme, which makes the enzyme unstable or disrupts its activity. In some cases, single amino acid changes allow the enzyme to retain some function. The most common PANK2 mutation replaces the amino acid glycine with the amino acid arginine at position 411 of the enzyme (written as Gly411Arg or G411R).

When pantothenate kinase 2 is altered or missing, the normal production of coenzyme A is disrupted and potentially harmful compounds can build up in the brain. This buildup leads to swelling, tissue damage, and an abnormal accumulation of iron in certain areas of the brain. Researchers are uncertain how a lack of functional pantothenate kinase 2 causes the specific features of pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. Because the enzyme functions in mitochondria, the signs and symptoms of this condition may be related to impaired energy production.

Mutations in the PANK2 gene are also found in people with a condition called HARP (hypoprebetalipoproteinemia, acanthocytosis, retinitis pigmentosa, and pallidal degeneration). HARP was historically described as a separate syndrome but is now considered part of pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. Although HARP is much rarer than classic pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, both conditions involve problems with movement, dementia, and vision abnormalities.

3. Other Names for This Gene

  • NBIA1
  • pantothenate kinase 2 (Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome)
  • pantothenic acid kinase


  1. Gordon N. Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (Hallervorden-Spatzsyndrome). Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2002;6(5):243-7. Review.
  2. Gregory A, Hayflick SJ. Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. Folia Neuropathol. 2005;43(4):286-96. Review.
  3. Hartig MB, Hörtnagel K, Garavaglia B, Zorzi G, Kmiec T, Klopstock T, RostasyK, Svetel M, Kostic VS, Schuelke M, Botz E, Weindl A, Novakovic I, Nardocci N,Prokisch H, Meitinger T. Genotypic and phenotypic spectrum of PANK2 mutations in patients with neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. Ann Neurol. 2006Feb;59(2):248-56.
  4. Hayflick SJ, Westaway SK, Levinson B, Zhou B, Johnson MA, Ching KH, Gitschier J. Genetic, clinical, and radiographic delineation of Hallervorden-Spatzsyndrome. N Engl J Med. 2003 Jan 2;348(1):33-40.
  5. Hayflick SJ. Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (formerlyHallervorden-Spatz syndrome). J Neurol Sci. 2003 Mar 15;207(1-2):106-7. Review.
  6. Hayflick SJ. Unraveling the Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome: pantothenatekinase-associated neurodegeneration is the name. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2003Dec;15(6):572-7. Review.
  7. Johnson MA, Kuo YM, Westaway SK, Parker SM, Ching KH, Gitschier J, HayflickSJ. Mitochondrial localization of human PANK2 and hypotheses of secondary ironaccumulation in pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. Ann N Y AcadSci. 2004 Mar;1012:282-98.
  8. Kotzbauer PT, Truax AC, Trojanowski JQ, Lee VM. Altered neuronal mitochondrialcoenzyme A synthesis in neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation caused by abnormal processing, stability, and catalytic activity of mutant pantothenatekinase 2. J Neurosci. 2005 Jan 19;25(3):689-98.
  9. Ponka P. Hereditary causes of disturbed iron homeostasis in the centralnervous system. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Mar;1012:267-81. Review.
  10. Zhang YM, Rock CO, Jackowski S. Biochemical properties of human pantothenatekinase 2 isoforms and mutations linked to pantothenate kinase-associatedneurodegeneration. J Biol Chem. 2006 Jan 6;281(1):107-14.
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Update Date: 25 Dec 2020