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Reviewed January 2014
What is the official name of the DNMT3A gene?
The official name of this gene is “DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 3 alpha.”
DNMT3A is the gene's official symbol. The DNMT3A 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 DNMT3A gene?
The DNMT3A gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 3 alpha. This enzyme is involved in DNA methylation, which is the addition of methyl groups, consisting of one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms, to DNA molecules. In particular, the enzyme helps add methyl groups to DNA building blocks (nucleotides) called cytosines.
DNA methylation is important in many cellular functions. These include determining whether the instructions in a particular segment of DNA are carried out or suppressed (gene silencing), regulating reactions involving proteins and fats (lipids), and controlling the processing of chemicals that relay signals in the nervous system (neurotransmitters). DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 3 alpha is particularly important for establishing the initial locations for methylation during development. The enzyme also functions in early cells that can give rise to more mature cell types. In early blood cells, called hematopoietic stem cells, the methylation patterns established by DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 3 alpha promote maturation (differentiation) into different blood cell types.
How are changes in the DNMT3A gene related to health conditions?
Where is the DNMT3A gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 2p23
Molecular Location on chromosome 2: base pairs 25,232,961 to 25,342,590
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The DNMT3A gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 2 at position 23.
More precisely, the DNMT3A gene is located from base pair 25,232,961 to base pair 25,342,590 on chromosome 2.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about DNMT3A?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about DNMT3A 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 DNMT3A 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 DNMT3A?
acids ; acute ; acute lymphoblastic leukemia ; acute myeloid leukemia ; AML ; atom ; cancer ; cell ; cytosine ; differentiation ; DNA ; enzyme ; gene ; gene silencing ; hematopoietic ; inherited ; leukemia ; methyl ; methylation ; methyltransferase ; mutation ; myeloid ; nervous system ; neurotransmitters ; protein ; stem cells ; white blood cells
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.