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Reviewed August 2006

What is the official name of the EDA gene?

The official name of this gene is “ectodysplasin A.”

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

The EDA gene provides instructions for making a protein called ectodysplasin A. This protein is part of a signaling pathway that plays an important role in development before birth. Specifically, it is critical for interactions between two embryonic cell layers called the ectoderm and the mesoderm. In the early embryo, these cell layers form the basis for many of the body's organs and tissues. Ectoderm-mesoderm interactions are essential for the formation of several structures that arise from the ectoderm, including the skin, hair, nails, teeth, and sweat glands.

The EDA gene provides instructions for producing many slightly different versions of ectodysplasin A. One version, ectodysplasin A1, interacts with a protein called the ectodysplasin A receptor (produced from the EDAR gene). On the cell surface, ectodysplasin A1 attaches to this receptor like a key in a lock. When these two proteins are connected, they trigger a series of chemical signals that affect cell activities such as division, growth, and maturation. Before birth, this signaling pathway controls the formation of ectodermal structures such as hair follicles, sweat glands, and teeth.

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

hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia - caused by mutations in the EDA gene

More than 80 different mutations in the EDA gene have been identified in people with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. These mutations cause the X-linked form of the disorder, which accounts for 95 percent of all cases of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. (X-linked disorders are caused by mutations in genes on the X chromosome, one of the two sex chromosomes.)

Some mutations in the EDA gene change single DNA building blocks (base pairs), whereas other mutations insert or delete genetic material in the gene. These changes lead to the production of a nonfunctional version of the ectodysplasin A protein. This abnormal protein cannot trigger chemical signals needed for normal interactions between the ectoderm and the mesoderm. Without these signals, hair follicles, teeth, sweat glands, and other ectodermal structures do not form properly, leading to the characteristic features of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia.

Where is the EDA gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: Xq12-q13.1

Molecular Location on the X chromosome: base pairs 69,616,067 to 70,039,472

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

The EDA gene is located on the long (q) arm of the X chromosome between positions 12 and 13.1.

The EDA gene is located on the long (q) arm of the X chromosome between positions 12 and 13.1.

More precisely, the EDA gene is located from base pair 69,616,067 to base pair 70,039,472 on the X chromosome.

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

Where can I find additional information about EDA?

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

  • Ectodermal dysplasia protein
  • ectodysplasin
  • ectodysplasin-A
  • ED1
  • ED1-A1
  • EDA1
  • EDA-A1
  • EDA-A2
  • HED
  • XHED

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 EDA?

cell ; chromosome ; DNA ; dysplasia ; ectoderm ; embryo ; embryonic ; gene ; kb ; ligand ; mesoderm ; protein ; receptor ; sex chromosomes

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (10 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: August 2006
Published: February 1, 2016