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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®


Reviewed August 2006

What is the official name of the EDAR gene?

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

EDAR is the gene's official symbol. The EDAR gene is also known by other names, listed below.

What is the normal function of the EDAR gene?

The EDAR gene provides instructions for making a protein called the ectodysplasin A receptor. 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 ectodysplasin A receptor interacts with a protein called ectodysplasin A1 (produced from the EDA 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 EDAR gene related to health conditions?

hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia - caused by mutations in the EDAR gene

About 20 mutations in the EDAR gene have been identified in people with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. Most of these mutations change a single protein building block (amino acid) in the receptor protein, although deletions of genetic material from the EDAR gene also occur. Some EDAR mutations lead to the production of an abnormal version of the ectodysplasin A receptor. These genetic changes disrupt the signaling pathway needed for the formation of ectodermal structures such as hair follicles and sweat glands. When this type of mutation is present in one copy of the EDAR gene in each cell, it results in the autosomal dominant form of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia.

Other EDAR mutations prevent cells from producing any ectodysplasin A receptor protein. As a result, the receptor is not available to trigger chemical signals that are necessary for ectoderm-mesoderm interactions and the normal development of ectodermal structures. This type of mutation, when present in two copies of the EDAR gene in each cell, causes an autosomal recessive form of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia.

Where is the EDAR gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 2q13

Molecular Location on chromosome 2: base pairs 108,894,471 to 108,989,372

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBI (

The EDAR gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 2 at position 13.

The EDAR gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 2 at position 13.

More precisely, the EDAR gene is located from base pair 108,894,471 to base pair 108,989,372 on chromosome 2.

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

Where can I find additional information about EDAR?

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

  • DL
  • ectodysplasin 1, anhidrotic receptor
  • ectodysplasin A1 isoform receptor
  • ectodysplasin receptor
  • ED1R
  • ED3
  • ED5
  • EDA1R
  • EDA3
  • EDA-A1R

See How are genetic conditions and genes named? ( in the Handbook.

What glossary definitions help with understanding EDAR?

amino acid ; autosomal ; autosomal dominant ; autosomal recessive ; cell ; domain ; dysplasia ; ectoderm ; embryo ; embryonic ; gene ; kb ; mesoderm ; mutation ; protein ; receptor ; recessive

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


  • Chassaing N, Bourthoumieu S, Cossee M, Calvas P, Vincent MC. Mutations in EDAR account for one-quarter of non-ED1-related hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. Hum Mutat. 2006 Mar;27(3):255-9. (
  • Courtney JM, Blackburn J, Sharpe PT. The Ectodysplasin and NFkappaB signalling pathways in odontogenesis. Arch Oral Biol. 2005 Feb;50(2):159-63. Review. (
  • Gene Review: Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia (
  • Mikkola ML, Thesleff I. Ectodysplasin signaling in development. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2003 Jun-Aug;14(3-4):211-24. Review. (
  • Monreal AW, Ferguson BM, Headon DJ, Street SL, Overbeek PA, Zonana J. Mutations in the human homologue of mouse dl cause autosomal recessive and dominant hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. Nat Genet. 1999 Aug;22(4):366-9. (
  • Naeem M, Muhammad D, Ahmad W. Novel mutations in the EDAR gene in two Pakistani consanguineous families with autosomal recessive hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. Br J Dermatol. 2005 Jul;153(1):46-50. (
  • NCBI Gene (
  • Wiśniewski SA, Kobielak A, Trzeciak WH, Kobielak K. Recent advances in understanding of the molecular basis of anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia: discovery of a ligand, ectodysplasin A and its two receptors. J Appl Genet. 2002;43(1):97-107. Review. (


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 8, 2016