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Reviewed February 2013
What is the official name of the MYH7 gene?
The official name of this gene is “myosin, heavy chain 7, cardiac muscle, beta.”
MYH7 is the gene's official symbol. The MYH7 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 MYH7 gene?
The MYH7 gene provides instructions for making a protein known as the cardiac beta (β)-myosin heavy chain. This protein is found in heart (cardiac) muscle and in type I skeletal muscle fibers. Type I fibers, which are also known as slow-twitch fibers, are one of two types of fibers that make up skeletal muscles. Type I fibers are the primary component of skeletal muscles that are resistant to fatigue. For example, muscles involved in posture, such as the neck muscles that hold the head steady, are made predominantly of type I fibers.
In cardiac and skeletal muscle cells, the β-myosin heavy chain forms part of a larger protein called type II myosin. Each type II myosin protein consists of two heavy chains (produced from the MYH7 gene) and two pairs of regulatory light chains (produced from several other genes). The heavy chains each have two parts: a head region and a tail region. The head region, called the motor domain, interacts with a thin filament protein called actin, which is important for cell movement and shape. The long tail region interacts with other proteins, including the tail regions of other myosin proteins.
Type II myosin generates the mechanical force that is needed for muscles to contract. It is integral to muscle cell structures called sarcomeres, which are the basic units of muscle contraction. Sarcomeres are composed of thick filaments made up of type II myosin and thin filaments made up of actin. The overlapping thick and thin filaments attach to each other and release, which allows the filaments to move relative to one another so that muscles can contract. In the heart, regular contractions of cardiac muscle pump blood to the rest of the body. The coordinated contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscles allow the body to move.
Does the MYH7 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The MYH7 gene belongs to a family of genes called myosins (myosins).
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 MYH7 gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides additional information about these conditions associated with changes in the MYH7 gene:
Where is the MYH7 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 14q12
Molecular Location on chromosome 14: base pairs 23,412,738 to 23,435,686
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The MYH7 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 14 at position 12.
More precisely, the MYH7 gene is located from base pair 23,412,738 to base pair 23,435,686 on chromosome 14.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about MYH7?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about MYH7 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 MYH7 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 MYH7?
acids ; actin ; amino acid ; cardiac ; cardiomyopathy ; cell ; contraction ; dilated ; distal ; domain ; familial ; gene ; heart failure ; hypertrophic ; hypertrophy ; motor ; muscle cell ; muscle cells ; myosin ; myosin heavy chain ; myosin light chain ; myosin type II ; protein ; sarcomere ; skeletal muscle ; type I skeletal muscle fibers ; ventricle
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (18 links)