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Reviewed July 2009
What is the official name of the FECH gene?
The official name of this gene is “ferrochelatase.”
FECH is the gene's official symbol. The FECH 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 FECH gene?
The FECH gene provides instructions for making an enzyme known as ferrochelatase. This enzyme is involved in the production of a molecule called heme. Heme is vital for all of the body's organs, although it is most abundant in the blood, bone marrow, and liver. Heme is an essential component of iron-containing proteins called hemoproteins, including hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen in the blood).
The production of heme is a multi-step process that requires eight different enzymes. Ferrochelatase is responsible for the eighth and final step in this process, in which an iron atom is inserted into the center of protoporphyrin IX (the product of the seventh step) to form heme.
How are changes in the FECH gene related to health conditions?
Where is the FECH gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 18q21.3
Molecular Location on chromosome 18: base pairs 57,544,841 to 57,586,737
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The FECH gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 18 at position 21.3.
More precisely, the FECH gene is located from base pair 57,544,841 to base pair 57,586,737 on chromosome 18.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about FECH?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about FECH 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 FECH 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 FECH?
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.