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Reviewed December 2013

What is the official name of the NCSTN gene?

The official name of this gene is “nicastrin.”

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

The NCSTN gene provides instructions for making a protein called nicastrin. This protein is one part (subunit) of a complex called gamma- (γ-) secretase. Nicastrin plays a critical role in the assembly and stability of this complex.

The γ-secretase complex is located in the membrane that surrounds cells, where it cuts apart (cleaves) many different proteins that span the cell membrane (transmembrane proteins). This cleavage is an important step in several chemical signaling pathways that transmit signals from outside the cell into the nucleus. One of these pathways, known as Notch signaling, is essential for the normal maturation and division of hair follicle cells and other types of skin cells. Notch signaling is also involved in normal immune system function.

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

hidradenitis suppurativa - caused by mutations in the NCSTN gene

At least 11 mutations in the NCSTN gene have been found to cause hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic skin disease characterized by recurrent boil-like lumps (nodules) under the skin that develop in hair follicles. The nodules tend to become inflamed and painful, and they produce significant scarring as they heal.

NCSTN gene mutations reduce the amount of functional nicastrin produced in cells, so less of this protein is available to act as part of the γ-secretase complex. The resulting shortage of normal γ-secretase impairs cell signaling pathways, including Notch signaling. Although little is known about the mechanism, studies suggest that abnormal Notch signaling may promote the development of recurrent nodules in hair follicles and trigger inflammation in the skin.

Where is the NCSTN gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 1q22-q23

Molecular Location on chromosome 1: base pairs 160,343,273 to 160,358,952

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

The NCSTN gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 1 between positions 22 and 23.

The NCSTN gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 1 between positions 22 and 23.

More precisely, the NCSTN gene is located from base pair 160,343,273 to base pair 160,358,952 on chromosome 1.

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

Where can I find additional information about NCSTN?

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

  • anterior pharynx-defective 2
  • APH2
  • ATAG1874
  • KIAA0253
  • nicastrin precursor
  • RP11-517F10.1

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 NCSTN?

anterior ; cell ; cell membrane ; chronic ; gene ; hair follicle ; immune system ; inflammation ; nucleus ; precursor ; protein ; subunit ; transmembrane

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (7 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: December 2013
Published: February 8, 2016