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Reviewed September 2007

What is the official name of the ALPL gene?

The official name of this gene is “alkaline phosphatase, liver/bone/kidney.”

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

The ALPL gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase. This enzyme plays an important role in the growth and development of bones and teeth. It is also active in many other tissues, particularly in the liver and kidneys. This enzyme acts as a phosphatase, which means that it removes clusters of oxygen and phosphorus atoms (phosphate groups) from other molecules.

Alkaline phosphatase is essential for the process of mineralization, in which minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are deposited in developing bones and teeth. Mineralization is critical for the formation of bones that are strong and rigid and teeth that can withstand chewing and grinding.

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

hypophosphatasia - caused by mutations in the ALPL gene

More than 190 mutations in the ALPL gene have been identified in people with hypophosphatasia. About 80 percent of these mutations change a single protein building block (amino acid) in the alkaline phosphatase enzyme. Other mutations insert or delete genetic material in the ALPL gene or change the way the gene's instructions are used to build the enzyme.

Mutations in the ALPL gene lead to the production of an abnormal version of alkaline phosphatase that cannot participate effectively in the mineralization of developing bones and teeth. A shortage of alkaline phosphatase allows substances that are normally processed by the enzyme to build up abnormally in the body. Researchers believe that a buildup of one of these compounds, inorganic pyrophosphate, underlies the defective mineralization of bones and teeth in people with hypophosphatasia.

ALPL mutations that almost completely eliminate the activity of alkaline phosphatase usually result in the more severe forms of hypophosphatasia. Other mutations, which reduce but do not eliminate the activity of the enzyme, are often responsible for milder forms of the condition.

Where is the ALPL gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 1p36.12

Molecular Location on chromosome 1: base pairs 21,508,982 to 21,578,412

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

The ALPL gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 1 at position 36.12.

The ALPL gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 1 at position 36.12.

More precisely, the ALPL gene is located from base pair 21,508,982 to base pair 21,578,412 on chromosome 1.

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

Where can I find additional information about ALPL?

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

  • alkaline phosphomonoesterase
  • glycerophosphatase
  • HOPS
  • MGC161443
  • tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase
  • tissue-nonspecific ALP
  • TNAP

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 ALPL?

amino acid ; calcium ; enzyme ; gene ; kidney ; oxygen ; phosphatase ; phosphate ; phosphomonoesterase ; phosphorus ; protein ; tissue

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (7 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: September 2007
Published: February 8, 2016