|A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®|
On this page:
Reviewed August 2013
What is the official name of the LCAT gene?
The official name of this gene is “lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase.”
LCAT is the gene's official symbol. The LCAT 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 LCAT gene?
The LCAT gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT). This enzyme plays a role in removing cholesterol from the blood and tissues. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced in the body and obtained from foods that come from animals (particularly egg yolks, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products). The body needs this substance to build cell membranes, make certain hormones, and produce compounds that aid in fat digestion. Too much cholesterol, however, increases a person's risk of developing heart disease, and can also lead to buildup of cholesterol in other tissues.
The LCAT enzyme helps transport cholesterol out of the blood and tissues by a process called cholesterol esterification. This process results in a form of cholesterol that is more efficiently carried by molecules called lipoproteins, which transport the cholesterol to the liver. Once in the liver, the cholesterol is redistributed to other tissues or removed from the body. The enzyme has two major functions, called alpha- and beta-LCAT activity. Alpha-LCAT activity helps attach cholesterol to a lipoprotein called high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Beta-LCAT activity helps attach cholesterol to other lipoproteins called very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
How are changes in the LCAT gene related to health conditions?
Where is the LCAT gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 16q22.1
Molecular Location on chromosome 16: base pairs 67,939,884 to 67,944,112
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The LCAT gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 16 at position 22.1.
More precisely, the LCAT gene is located from base pair 67,939,884 to base pair 67,944,112 on chromosome 16.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about LCAT?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about LCAT 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 LCAT 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 LCAT?
acids ; arteries ; atherosclerosis ; cell ; cholesterol ; deficiency ; digestion ; egg ; enzyme ; gene ; HDL ; kidney ; LDL ; lipoprotein ; mutation ; phospholipid ; population ; precursor ; protein ; tissue ; VLDL
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (8 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.