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Reviewed November 2008

What is the official name of the ABCA12 gene?

The official name of this gene is “ATP binding cassette subfamily A member 12.”

ABCA12 is the gene's official symbol. The ABCA12 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.

What is the normal function of the ABCA12 gene?

The ABCA12 gene provides instructions for making a protein known as an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter. ABC transporter proteins carry many types of molecules across cell membranes. In particular, the ABCA12 protein plays a major role in transporting fats (lipids) in cells that make up the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis). This lipid transport appears to be essential for normal development of the skin. The ABCA12 protein is also found in several other tissues, including the testes, placenta, lung, stomach, and fetal brain and liver.

Does the ABCA12 gene share characteristics with other genes?

The ABCA12 gene belongs to a family of genes called ABC (ATP-binding cassette transporters). It also belongs to a family of genes called ATP (ATPases).

A gene family is a group of genes that share important characteristics. Classifying individual genes into families helps researchers describe how genes are related to each other. For more information, see What are gene families? in the Handbook.

How are changes in the ABCA12 gene related to health conditions?

harlequin ichthyosis - caused by mutations in the ABCA12 gene

Several mutations in the ABCA12 gene have been identified in people with harlequin ichthyosis. Most of these mutations probably lead to an absence of ABCA12 protein or the production of an extremely small version of the protein that cannot transport lipids properly. A lack of lipid transport causes numerous problems with the development of the epidermis before and after birth. Specifically, it prevents the skin from forming an effective barrier against fluid loss (dehydration) and infections, and leads to the formation of hard, thick scales characteristic of harlequin ichthyosis.

Genetics Home Reference provides information about lamellar ichthyosis, which is also associated with changes in the ABCA12 gene.

Where is the ABCA12 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 2q34

Molecular Location on chromosome 2: base pairs 214,931,542 to 215,138,580

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The ABCA12 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 2 at position 34.

The ABCA12 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 2 at position 34.

More precisely, the ABCA12 gene is located from base pair 214,931,542 to base pair 215,138,580 on chromosome 2.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about ABCA12?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ABCA12 helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the ABCA12 gene or gene products?

  • ATP-binding cassette 12
  • ATP-binding cassette, sub-family A (ABC1), member 12
  • ATP-binding cassette, sub-family A, member 12
  • ATP-binding cassette transporter 12
  • ICR2B

Where can I find general information about genes?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.

What glossary definitions help with understanding ABCA12?

ATP ; cell ; dehydration ; epidermis ; gene ; ichthyosis ; keratinocyte ; lipid ; placenta ; protein ; stomach ; testes

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (11 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: November 2008
Published: February 8, 2016