Skip Navigation
Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®


Reviewed February 2011

What is the official name of the LFNG gene?

The official name of this gene is “LFNG O-fucosylpeptide 3-beta-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase.”

LFNG is the gene's official symbol. The LFNG gene is also known by other names, listed below.

What is the normal function of the LFNG gene?

The LFNG gene provides the instructions for a protein that helps control (regulate) the Notch pathway, an important pathway in embryonic development. The Notch pathway plays a critical role in the development of vertebrae. Specifically, the LFNG protein and the Notch pathway are involved in separating future vertebrae from one another during early development, a complex process called somite segmentation. Although the exact mechanism of somite segmentation is unclear, it appears to require the activity of several proteins in the Notch pathway, including the NOTCH1 protein and the LFNG protein, to be turned on and off in a specific pattern (oscillate).

The LFNG protein regulates the activity of the NOTCH1 protein. Using a mechanism called glycosylation in which a group of sugar molecules is attached to a protein, the LFNG protein modifies the NOTCH1 protein as it is being processed. This modification has multiple effects: it alters Notch signaling in response to other proteins called ligands that attach (bind) to the NOTCH1 protein, and it blocks (represses) the activation of the NOTCH1 protein in some regions of the cell.

Does the LFNG gene share characteristics with other genes?

The LFNG gene belongs to a family of genes called B3GT (beta 3-glycosyltransferases).

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 LFNG gene related to health conditions?

spondylocostal dysostosis - caused by mutations in the LFNG gene

At least one mutation in the LFNG gene causes a rare type of spondylocostal dysostosis, called spondylocostal dysostosis type 3, which is a condition characterized by abnormal development of bones in the spine and ribs. The identified mutation replaces the protein building block (amino acid) phenylalanine with the amino acid leucine at position 188 (written as Phe188Leu or F188L). The mutated LFNG protein cannot modify the NOTCH1 protein. Consequently, the NOTCH1 protein is constantly active and does not oscillate, so somite segmentation does not occur properly. This results in the malformation and fusion of the bones of the spine and ribs seen in spondylocostal dysostosis type 3.

Where is the LFNG gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 7p22.2

Molecular Location on chromosome 7: base pairs 2,512,529 to 2,529,177

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBI (

The LFNG gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 7 at position 22.2.

The LFNG gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 7 at position 22.2.

More precisely, the LFNG gene is located from base pair 2,512,529 to base pair 2,529,177 on chromosome 7.

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

Where can I find additional information about LFNG?

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

  • beta-1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase lunatic fringe
  • SCDO3

See How are genetic conditions and genes named? ( in the Handbook.

What glossary definitions help with understanding LFNG?

amino acid ; cell ; embryonic ; gene ; glycosylation ; leucine ; malformation ; mutation ; phenylalanine ; protein

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


  • Dunwoodie SL. Reprint of mutation of the fucose-specific beta1,3 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase LFNG results in abnormal formation of the spine. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Sep;1792(9):862-73. (
  • Ferjentsik Z, Hayashi S, Dale JK, Bessho Y, Herreman A, De Strooper B, del Monte G, de la Pompa JL, Maroto M. Notch is a critical component of the mouse somitogenesis oscillator and is essential for the formation of the somites. PLoS Genet. 2009 Sep;5(9):e1000662. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000662. Epub 2009 Sep 25. (
  • Gene Review: Spondylocostal Dysostosis, Autosomal Recessive (
  • Gibb S, Maroto M, Dale JK. The segmentation clock mechanism moves up a notch. Trends Cell Biol. 2010 Oct;20(10):593-600. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Aug 18. Review. (
  • NCBI Gene (
  • Oginuma M, Takahashi Y, Kitajima S, Kiso M, Kanno J, Kimura A, Saga Y. The oscillation of Notch activation, but not its boundary, is required for somite border formation and rostral-caudal patterning within a somite. Development. 2010 May;137(9):1515-22. doi: 10.1242/dev.044545. Epub 2010 Mar 24. (
  • Sparrow DB, Chapman G, Turnpenny PD, Dunwoodie SL. Disruption of the somitic molecular clock causes abnormal vertebral segmentation. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2007 Jun;81(2):93-110. Review. (
  • Sparrow DB, Chapman G, Wouters MA, Whittock NV, Ellard S, Fatkin D, Turnpenny PD, Kusumi K, Sillence D, Dunwoodie SL. Mutation of the LUNATIC FRINGE gene in humans causes spondylocostal dysostosis with a severe vertebral phenotype. Am J Hum Genet. 2006 Jan;78(1):28-37. Epub 2005 Nov 16. (


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 2011
Published: February 8, 2016