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Reviewed March 2011
What is the official name of the ERBB2 gene?
The official name of this gene is “erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2.”
ERBB2 is the gene's official symbol. The ERBB2 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 ERBB2 gene?
The ERBB2 gene is also commonly referred to as Her-2/neu, especially by doctors and other clinicians. This gene is one member of a family of genes that provide instructions for producing growth factor receptors. Growth factors are proteins that stimulate cell growth and division.
The ERBB2 gene provides instructions for making a protein called the ErbB2 growth factor receptor. This receptor is located on the surface of cells, where it associates with similar receptors to form a complex. Growth factors bind to these similar receptors (ErbB3, for example) and trigger the receptor complex to relay signals inside the cell. These signals activate certain genes that promote cell growth. ErbB2 probably also plays a role in connecting cells together (cell adhesion), the process by which cells mature to carry out specific functions (cell specialization), and cell movement.
Does the ERBB2 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The ERBB2 gene belongs to a family of genes called CD (CD molecules).
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 ERBB2 gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides information about neuroblastoma, which is also associated with changes in the ERBB2 gene.
Where is the ERBB2 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 17q12
Molecular Location on chromosome 17: base pairs 39,688,139 to 39,728,661
The ERBB2 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 17 at position 12.
More precisely, the ERBB2 gene is located from base pair 39,688,139 to base pair 39,728,661 on chromosome 17.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about ERBB2?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ERBB2 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 ERBB2 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 ERBB2?
cancer ; cell ; cell adhesion ; cell division ; chromosome ; DNA ; gene ; gene amplification ; glioblastoma ; growth factor ; inherited ; kinase ; leukemia ; metastasize ; oncogene ; ovarian ; progression ; protein ; proto-oncogene ; receptor ; stomach ; tumor ; tyrosine
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (13 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.