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Reviewed April 2014
What is the official name of the ALX4 gene?
The official name of this gene is “ALX homeobox 4.”
ALX4 is the gene's official symbol. The ALX4 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 ALX4 gene?
The ALX4 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is a member of the homeobox protein family. Homeobox proteins direct the formation of body structures during early embryonic development. The ALX4 protein is necessary for normal development of the head and face, particularly the formation of the nose, which begins around the fourth week of development. This protein is also involved in the formation of skin layers, but its role in this process is poorly understood. The ALX4 protein is a transcription factor, which means that it attaches (binds) to DNA and controls the activity of certain genes. Specifically, the protein controls the activity of genes that regulate cell growth and division (proliferation) and movement (migration), ensuring that cells grow and stop growing at specific times and that they are positioned correctly during development.
Does the ALX4 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The ALX4 gene belongs to a family of genes called homeobox (homeoboxes).
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 ALX4 gene related to health conditions?
Where is the ALX4 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 11p11.2
Molecular Location on chromosome 11: base pairs 44,260,437 to 44,319,219
The ALX4 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 at position 11.2.
More precisely, the ALX4 gene is located from base pair 44,260,437 to base pair 44,319,219 on chromosome 11.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about ALX4?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ALX4 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 ALX4 gene or gene products?
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.
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 ALX4?
alopecia ; amino acid ; benign ; bone formation ; cell ; cell proliferation ; chromosome ; deletion ; developmental delay ; differentiation ; disability ; DNA ; dysplasia ; embryonic ; exostoses ; gene ; homeobox ; homeodomain ; mutation ; ossification ; proliferation ; protein ; proximal ; spectrum ; syndrome ; transcription ; transcription factor
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (13 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.