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Reviewed February 2012

What is the official name of the LDHA gene?

The official name of this gene is “lactate dehydrogenase A.”

LDHA is the gene's official symbol. The LDHA 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 LDHA gene?

The LDHA gene provides instructions for making a protein called lactate dehydrogenase-A, which is one piece (subunit) of the lactate dehydrogenase enzyme. There are five different forms of this enzyme, each made up of four protein subunits. Various combinations of lactate dehydrogenase-A subunits and lactate dehydrogenase-B subunits (which are produced from a different gene) make up the different forms of the enzyme. The lactate dehydrogenase enzyme is found throughout the body and is important for performing a chemical reaction that provides energy for the body.

The version of lactate dehydrogenase made of four lactate dehydrogenase-A subunits is found primarily in skeletal muscles, which are muscles used for movement. Skeletal muscles need large amounts of energy during high-intensity physical activity when the body's oxygen intake is not sufficient for the amount of energy required (anaerobic exercise). To create additional energy, glucose stored in the body as glycogen gets broken down. During the final stage of glycogen breakdown, the lactate dehydrogenase enzyme converts the molecule pyruvate into a similar molecule called lactate, which can be used by the body for energy.

How are changes in the LDHA gene related to health conditions?

lactate dehydrogenase deficiency - caused by mutations in the LDHA gene

At least eight mutations in the LDHA gene have been found to cause lactate dehydrogenase deficiency, specifically lactate dehydrogenase-A deficiency. This condition is characterized by extreme tiredness and the breakdown of muscle tissue following high-intensity exercise or other strenuous activity. LDHA gene mutations result in the production of an abnormal lactate dehydrogenase-A subunit that cannot attach (bind) to other subunits to form lactate dehydrogenase enzyme. A lack of functional subunit reduces the amount of enzyme that is formed, mostly affecting skeletal muscles. As a result, glycogen is not broken down efficiently, leading to decreased energy in muscle cells. When muscle cells do not get sufficient energy during strenuous physical activity, the muscles become weak and muscle tissue can break down, as experienced by people with lactate dehydrogenase-A deficiency.

Where is the LDHA gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 11p15.4

Molecular Location on chromosome 11: base pairs 18,394,389 to 18,408,218

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The LDHA gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 at position 15.4.

The LDHA gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 at position 15.4.

More precisely, the LDHA gene is located from base pair 18,394,389 to base pair 18,408,218 on chromosome 11.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about LDHA?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about LDHA 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 LDHA gene or gene products?

  • lactate dehydrogenase M
  • LDH1
  • LDH-A
  • LDHM
  • LDH-M
  • LDH muscle subunit
  • L-lactate dehydrogenase A chain

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 LDHA?

breakdown ; deficiency ; dehydrogenase ; enzyme ; gene ; glucose ; glycogen ; lactate ; molecule ; muscle cells ; oxygen ; protein ; stage ; subunit ; tissue

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (5 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.

Reviewed: February 2012
Published: February 1, 2016