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Reviewed February 2013
What is the official name of the ARSA gene?
The official name of this gene is “arylsulfatase A.”
ARSA is the gene's official symbol. The ARSA 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 ARSA gene?
The ARSA gene provides instructions for making the enzyme arylsulfatase A. This enzyme is located in cellular structures called lysosomes, which are the cell's recycling centers. Within lysosomes, arylsulfatase A helps process substances known as sulfatides. Sulfatides are a subgroup of sphingolipids, a category of fats that are important components of cell membranes. Sulfatides are abundant in the nervous system's white matter, consisting of nerve fibers covered by myelin. Myelin, made up of multiple layers of membranes, insulates and protects nerves.
How are changes in the ARSA gene related to health conditions?
Where is the ARSA gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 22q13.33
Molecular Location on chromosome 22: base pairs 50,622,754 to 50,628,173
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The ARSA gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 22 at position 13.33.
More precisely, the ARSA gene is located from base pair 50,622,754 to base pair 50,628,173 on chromosome 22.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about ARSA?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ARSA 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 ARSA 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 ARSA?
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.