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Reviewed March 2007
What is the official name of the GALC gene?
The official name of this gene is “galactosylceramidase.”
GALC is the gene's official symbol. The GALC 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 GALC gene?
The GALC gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called galactosylceramidase. Through a process called hydrolysis, this enzyme uses water molecules to break down certain fats called galactolipids, which are found primarily in the brain and kidneys.
Within cells, galactosylceramidase is found in enzyme-filled sacs called lysosomes where it hydrolyzes specific galactolipids, including galactosylceramide and psychosine. Galactosylceramide is an important component of myelin, the protective covering around certain nerve cells that ensures the rapid transmission of nerve impulses. Psychosine forms during the production of myelin, and then it breaks down with help of galactosylceramidase. Under normal conditions, tissues contain very little psychosine.
How are changes in the GALC gene related to health conditions?
Where is the GALC gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 14q31
Molecular Location on chromosome 14: base pairs 87,933,014 to 87,993,665
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The GALC gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 14 at position 31.
More precisely, the GALC gene is located from base pair 87,933,014 to base pair 87,993,665 on chromosome 14.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about GALC?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about GALC 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 GALC 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 GALC?
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (6 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.