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Reviewed May 2015

What is the official name of the ENAM gene?

The official name of this gene is “enamelin.”

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

The ENAM gene provides instructions for making a protein called enamelin, which is essential for normal tooth development. Enamelin is involved in the formation of enamel, which is the hard, white material that forms the protective outer layer of each tooth. Enamel is composed mainly of mineral crystals. These microscopic crystals are arranged in organized bundles that give enamel its strength and durability. Although the exact function of enamelin is not well understood, this protein plays a key role in the formation and growth of crystals in developing enamel.

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

amelogenesis imperfecta - caused by mutations in the ENAM gene

At least 14 mutations in the ENAM gene have been identified in people with a disorder of tooth development called amelogenesis imperfecta. Mutations in this gene cause autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive forms of this condition.

In the autosomal dominant form, one copy of the ENAM gene in each cell is altered. These mutations have a variety of effects on enamel formation. Some of these mutations reduce the amount of enamelin produced from one copy of the gene. Other mutations lead to the production of an abnormally short version of enamelin that is missing critical regions. A reduced amount of enamelin or an altered version of the protein can lead to severe problems with developing enamel or cause milder defects such as shallow pits or horizontal grooves in the teeth.

In the autosomal recessive form of amelogenesis imperfecta, two copies of the ENAM gene in each cell are altered. These mutations result in the production of an abnormal version of enamelin that prevents enamel from developing properly. People who inherit two mutated copies of the ENAM gene have severe defects in their enamel; as a result, this protective covering may be very thin or completely absent.

Where is the ENAM gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 4q13.3

Molecular Location on chromosome 4: base pairs 70,628,744 to 70,646,819

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

The ENAM gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 4 at position 13.3.

The ENAM gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 4 at position 13.3.

More precisely, the ENAM gene is located from base pair 70,628,744 to base pair 70,646,819 on chromosome 4.

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

Where can I find additional information about ENAM?

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

  • ADAI
  • AIH2

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 ENAM?

amelogenesis ; autosomal ; autosomal dominant ; autosomal recessive ; cell ; enamel ; gene ; hypoplasia ; inherit ; mineral ; protein ; recessive

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: May 2015
Published: February 1, 2016