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Reviewed May 2013
What is the official name of the KRT5 gene?
The official name of this gene is “keratin 5, type II.”
KRT5 is the gene's official symbol. The KRT5 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 KRT5 gene?
The KRT5 gene provides instructions for making a protein called keratin 5. Keratins are a group of tough, fibrous proteins that form the structural framework of certain cells, particularly cells that make up the skin, hair, and nails. Keratin 5 is produced in cells called keratinocytes found in the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis).
Keratin 5 partners with a similar protein, keratin 14 (produced from the KRT14 gene), to form molecules called keratin intermediate filaments. These filaments assemble into strong networks that help attach keratinocytes together and anchor the epidermis to underlying layers of skin. The network of keratin intermediate filaments provides strength and resiliency to the skin and protects it from being damaged by friction and other everyday physical stresses.
Researchers believe that keratin 5 may also play a role in transporting melanosomes, which are cellular structures that produce a pigment called melanin. The transport of these structures into keratinocytes is important for normal skin coloration (pigmentation).
Does the KRT5 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The KRT5 gene belongs to a family of genes called KRT (keratins).
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 KRT5 gene related to health conditions?
Where is the KRT5 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 12q13.13
Molecular Location on chromosome 12: base pairs 52,514,575 to 52,520,459
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The KRT5 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 12 at position 13.13.
More precisely, the KRT5 gene is located from base pair 52,514,575 to base pair 52,520,459 on chromosome 12.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about KRT5?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about KRT5 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 KRT5 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 KRT5?
acids ; amino acid ; blister ; cytokeratin ; epidermis ; gene ; intermediate filaments ; keratin ; leucine ; melanin ; melanosome ; mutation ; pigment ; pigmentation ; proline ; protein ; reticulate ; rupture ; skin pigmentation ; trauma
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (10 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.