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Reviewed April 2013
What is the official name of the DSG4 gene?
The official name of this gene is “desmoglein 4.”
DSG4 is the gene's official symbol. The DSG4 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 DSG4 gene?
The DSG4 gene provides instructions for making a protein called desmoglein 4 (DSG4). This protein is found in specialized structures called desmosomes that are located in the membrane surrounding certain cells. Desmosomes help attach cells to one another and play a role in communication between cells. The DSG4 protein is found in cells in certain regions of hair follicles, including the inner compartment of the hair strand (shaft) known as the cortex. Hair growth occurs at the hair follicle when cells divide and the hair shaft is pushed upward and extends beyond the skin.
Desmosomes provide strength to the hair and are involved in signaling between neighboring cells within the hair shaft. The DSG4 protein may play a role in communicating the signals for cells to mature (differentiate) and form the hair shaft. In addition, the DSG4 protein is found in the upper layers of the skin where it provides strength and communicates signals for the skin cells to mature.
Does the DSG4 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The DSG4 gene belongs to a family of genes called CDH (cadherins).
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 DSG4 gene related to health conditions?
Where is the DSG4 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 18q12.1
Molecular Location on chromosome 18: base pairs 31,376,777 to 31,415,791
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The DSG4 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 18 at position 12.1.
More precisely, the DSG4 gene is located from base pair 31,376,777 to base pair 31,415,791 on chromosome 18.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about DSG4?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about DSG4 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 DSG4 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 DSG4?
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.