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The official name of this gene is “gap junction protein beta 4.”
GJB4 is the gene's official symbol. The GJB4 gene is also known by other names, listed below.
The GJB4 gene provides instructions for making a protein called gap junction beta 4, more commonly known as connexin 30.3. This protein is part of the connexin family, a group of proteins that form channels called gap junctions on the surface of cells. Gap junctions open and close to regulate the flow of nutrients, charged atoms (ions), and other signaling molecules from one cell to another. They are essential for direct communication between neighboring cells.
Connexin 30.3 is found in several different tissues, including the outermost layer of the skin (the epidermis). This protein appears to play a role in the growth and maturation of epidermal cells.
The GJB4 gene belongs to a family of genes called GJ (gap junction proteins (connexins)).
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? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genefamilies) in the Handbook.
At least seven GJB4 gene mutations have been identified in people with erythrokeratodermia variabilis et progressiva (EKVP), a skin disorder characterized by areas of hyperkeratosis, which is abnormally thickened skin, and temporarily reddened patches called erythematous areas. Each of these mutations changes a single protein building block (amino acid) used to make connexin 30.3. Studies suggest that the abnormal protein can build up in a cell structure called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), triggering a harmful process known as ER stress. Researchers suspect that ER stress damages and leads to the premature death of cells in the epidermis. This cell death leads to skin inflammation, which appears to underlie the development of erythematous areas. The mechanism by which epidermal damage and cell death contributes to hyperkeratosis is poorly understood.
Cytogenetic Location: 1p34.3
Molecular Location on chromosome 1: base pairs 34,759,741 to 34,763,724
The GJB4 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 1 at position 34.3.
More precisely, the GJB4 gene is located from base pair 34,759,741 to base pair 34,763,724 on chromosome 1.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genelocation) in the Handbook.
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about GJB4 helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/mutationsanddisorders/naming) in the Handbook.
amino acid ; cell ; connexin ; endoplasmic reticulum ; epidermis ; ER ; gap junctions ; gene ; inflammation ; ions ; oxygen ; protein ; reactive oxygen species ; stress
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
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? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/consult/findingprofessional) in the Handbook.