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Reviewed February 2014
What is the official name of the PIK3CA gene?
The official name of this gene is “phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha.”
PIK3CA is the gene's official symbol. The PIK3CA 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 PIK3CA gene?
The PIK3CA gene provides instructions for making the p110 alpha (p110α) protein, which is one piece (subunit) of an enzyme called phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). The p110α protein is called the catalytic subunit because it performs the action of PI3K, while the other subunit (produced by a different gene) regulates the enzyme's activity.
Like other kinases, PI3K adds a cluster of oxygen and phosphorus atoms (a phosphate group) to other proteins through a process called phosphorylation. PI3K phosphorylates certain signaling molecules, which triggers a series of additional reactions that transmit chemical signals within cells. PI3K signaling is important for many cell activities, including cell growth and division (proliferation), movement (migration) of cells, production of new proteins, transport of materials within cells, and cell survival. Studies suggest that PI3K signaling may be involved in the regulation of several hormones and may play a role in the maturation of fat cells (adipocytes).
How are changes in the PIK3CA gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides additional information about these conditions associated with changes in the PIK3CA gene:
Where is the PIK3CA gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 3q26.3
Molecular Location on chromosome 3: base pairs 179,148,114 to 179,240,084
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The PIK3CA gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 3 at position 26.3.
More precisely, the PIK3CA gene is located from base pair 179,148,114 to base pair 179,240,084 on chromosome 3.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about PIK3CA?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about PIK3CA 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 PIK3CA 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 PIK3CA?
acids ; adipocytes ; adipose tissue ; amino acid ; arginine ; cancer ; carcinoma ; catalytic ; cell ; cell proliferation ; colon ; colorectal ; congenital ; disability ; enzyme ; fat cells ; gene ; histidine ; hyperplasia ; inherited ; intestine ; kinase ; leucine ; lysine ; malformation ; megalencephaly ; mosaicism ; mutation ; ovarian ; ovary ; oxygen ; phosphate ; phosphorus ; phosphorylation ; proliferation ; protein ; rectum ; serine ; stomach ; subunit ; syndrome ; threonine ; tissue ; tumor ; vascular
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (11 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.