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Reviewed November 2011

What is the official name of the COLQ gene?

The official name of this gene is “collagen-like tail subunit (single strand of homotrimer) of asymmetric acetylcholinesterase.”

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

The COLQ gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays an important role in the neuromuscular junction. The neuromuscular junction is the area between the ends of nerve cells and muscle cells where signals are relayed to trigger muscle movement.

The ColQ protein anchors another protein called acetylcholinesterase to the muscle cell membrane at the neuromuscular junction. The ColQ protein is made up of three identical parts (subunits). Each subunit attaches (binds) to a bundle of four acetylcholinesterase proteins. Acetylcholinesterase plays a role in regulating the length of signaling between nerve cells and muscle cells by breaking down the signaling protein acetylcholine.

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

congenital myasthenic syndrome - caused by mutations in the COLQ gene

More than 35 mutations in the COLQ gene have been found to cause congenital myasthenic syndrome. Most of these mutations change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in the ColQ protein or lead to the production of a shortened, nonfunctional protein. A lack of functional ColQ protein leads to a reduction in the amount of acetylcholinesterase that is available in the neuromuscular junction. As a result, acetylcholine is not broken down so signaling between nerve and muscle cells is prolonged. This signaling overload can damage muscle cells, leading to the muscle weakness characteristic of congenital myasthenic syndrome.

Where is the COLQ gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 3p25

Molecular Location on chromosome 3: base pairs 15,450,133 to 15,521,751

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

The COLQ gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 3 at position 25.

The COLQ gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 3 at position 25.

More precisely, the COLQ gene is located from base pair 15,450,133 to base pair 15,521,751 on chromosome 3.

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

Where can I find additional information about COLQ?

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

  • acetylcholinesterase-associated collagen
  • acetylcholinesterase collagenic tail peptide
  • AChE Q subunit
  • collagenic tail of endplate acetylcholinesterase

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 COLQ?

acetylcholine ; acids ; cell ; cell membrane ; collagen ; congenital ; deficiency ; gene ; muscle cell ; muscle cells ; neuromuscular junction ; peptide ; protein ; subunit ; syndrome

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (6 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 2011
Published: February 1, 2016