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The official name of this gene is “gelsolin.”
GSN is the gene's official symbol. The GSN gene is also known by other names, listed below.
The GSN gene provides instructions for making two forms of a protein called gelsolin. One form remains inside the cell (cellular gelsolin) and the other form is released from the cell (secreted gelsolin). Both forms of the gelsolin protein attach (bind) to another protein called actin. Actin proteins are organized into filaments, which form a network (the cytoskeleton) that gives structure to cells and allows them to change shape and move. Gelsolin helps assemble or disassemble actin filaments. It is thought that, through this function, the gelsolin protein regulates the formation of the actin cytoskeleton.
At least two mutations in the GSN gene cause lattice corneal dystrophy type II. This condition is characterized by the accumulation of protein clumps called amyloid deposits in many tissues throughout the body, including the clear, outer covering of the eye (the cornea); the skin; and the nerves. These protein clumps contain the gelsolin protein.
GSN gene mutations that cause lattice corneal dystrophy type II change a single protein building block (amino acid) in the gelsolin protein: the amino acid aspartic acid at position 187. The most common mutation replaces the aspartic acid with the amino acid asparagine (written as Asp187Asn or D187N). Another mutation replaces the aspartic acid with the amino acid tyrosine (written as Asp187Tyr or D187Y).
The amino acid change is found in both the cellular and secreted forms of the gelsolin protein. However, only the secreted form of the protein is involved in the amyloid deposits. The altered gelsolin protein is broken down differently than the normal protein, which results in an abnormal gelsolin protein fragment that is released from the cell. These protein fragments accumulate and form amyloid deposits. Amyloid deposits in the eyes, skin, and nerves lead to the signs and symptoms of lattice corneal dystrophy type II, such as vision impairment; paralysis of facial muscles; and thick, sagging skin.
Cytogenetic Location: 9q33
Molecular Location on chromosome 9: base pairs 121,268,101 to 121,332,843
The GSN gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 9 at position 33.
More precisely, the GSN gene is located from base pair 121,268,101 to base pair 121,332,843 on chromosome 9.
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 GSN 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.
actin ; amino acid ; amyloid ; asparagine ; aspartic acid ; cell ; cornea ; cytoskeleton ; gene ; mutation ; precursor ; protein ; tyrosine
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/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.