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Reviewed July 2013

What is the official name of the ABCD1 gene?

The official name of this gene is “ATP binding cassette subfamily D member 1.”

ABCD1 is the gene's official symbol. The ABCD1 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 ABCD1 gene?

The ABCD1 gene provides instructions for producing the adrenoleukodystrophy protein (ALDP). ALDP is located in the membranes of cell structures called peroxisomes. Peroxisomes are small sacs within cells that process many types of molecules. ALDP brings a group of fats called very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) into peroxisomes, where they are broken down.

Does the ABCD1 gene share characteristics with other genes?

The ABCD1 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 ABCD1 gene related to health conditions?

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy - caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene

More than 650 mutations in the ABCD1 gene have been found to cause X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. This condition is characterized by varying degrees of cognitive and movement problems as well as hormone imbalances. The mutations that cause X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy prevent the production of any ALDP in about 75 percent of people with this disorder. Other people with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy can produce ALDP, but the protein is not able to perform its normal function. With little or no functional ALDP, VLCFAs are not broken down, and they build up in the body. The accumulation of these fats may be toxic to the adrenal glands (small glands on top of each kidney) and to the fatty layer of insulation (myelin) that surrounds many nerves in the body. Research suggests that the accumulation of VLCFAs triggers an inflammatory response in the brain, which could lead to the breakdown of myelin. The destruction of these tissues leads to the signs and symptoms of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.

Where is the ABCD1 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: Xq28

Molecular Location on the X chromosome: base pairs 153,724,851 to 153,744,762

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

The ABCD1 gene is located on the long (q) arm of the X chromosome at position 28.

The ABCD1 gene is located on the long (q) arm of the X chromosome at position 28.

More precisely, the ABCD1 gene is located from base pair 153,724,851 to base pair 153,744,762 on the X chromosome.

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

Where can I find additional information about ABCD1?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ABCD1 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 ABCD1 gene or gene products?

  • ALD
  • ALDP
  • AMN
  • ATP-binding cassette, sub-family D (ALD), member 1

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 ABCD1?

acids ; adrenal glands ; ATP ; breakdown ; cell ; fatty acids ; gene ; hormone ; kidney ; oxidation ; peroxisomes ; protein ; toxic

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (8 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: July 2013
Published: February 8, 2016