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Reviewed January 2014
What is the official name of the KCNJ11 gene?
The official name of this gene is “potassium channel, inwardly rectifying subfamily J, member 11.”
KCNJ11 is the gene's official symbol. The KCNJ11 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 KCNJ11 gene?
The KCNJ11 gene provides instructions for making parts (subunits) of the ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channel. Each K-ATP channel consists of eight subunits. Four subunits are produced from the KCNJ11 gene, and four are produced from another gene called ABCC8.
K-ATP channels are found in beta cells, which are cells in the pancreas that secrete the hormone insulin. The K-ATP channels are embedded in cell membranes, where they open and close in response to the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar and the primary energy source for most cells in the body. Closure of the K-ATP channels in response to increased glucose triggers the release of insulin out of beta cells and into the bloodstream, which helps control blood sugar levels.
Does the KCNJ11 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The KCNJ11 gene belongs to a family of genes called KCN (potassium channels).
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 KCNJ11 gene related to health conditions?
Where is the KCNJ11 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 11p15.1
Molecular Location on chromosome 11: base pairs 17,364,824 to 17,389,331
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The KCNJ11 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 at position 15.1.
More precisely, the KCNJ11 gene is located from base pair 17,364,824 to base pair 17,389,331 on chromosome 11.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about KCNJ11?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about KCNJ11 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 KCNJ11 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 KCNJ11?
acids ; amino acid ; ATP ; cell ; channel ; congenital ; diabetes ; diabetes mellitus ; disability ; gene ; glucose ; glutamic acid ; heart failure ; hormone ; hyperglycemia ; hyperinsulinism ; hypoglycemia ; insulin ; lysine ; neonatal ; pancreas ; polymorphism ; potassium ; protein ; protein sequence ; secretion ; simple sugar ; stress ; subunit ; transient
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (11 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.