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Reviewed September 2012

What is the official name of the PLA2G6 gene?

The official name of this gene is “phospholipase A2 group VI.”

PLA2G6 is the gene's official symbol. The PLA2G6 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 PLA2G6 gene?

The PLA2G6 gene provides instructions for making a type of enzyme called an A2 phospholipase. This type of enzyme is involved in breaking down (metabolizing) fats called phospholipids. Phospholipid metabolism is important for many body processes, including helping to maintain the integrity of the cell membrane. Specifically, the A2 phospholipase produced from the PLA2G6 gene, sometimes called PLA2 group VI, helps to regulate the levels of a compound called phosphatidylcholine, which is abundant in the cell membrane.

Does the PLA2G6 gene share characteristics with other genes?

The PLA2G6 gene belongs to a family of genes called ANKRD (ankyrin repeat domain containing). It also belongs to a family of genes called PARK (Parkinson disease).

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 PLA2G6 gene related to health conditions?

infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy - caused by mutations in the PLA2G6 gene

At least 50 mutations in the PLA2G6 gene have been identified in people with infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, a progressive neurological disorder that causes intellectual disability and movement problems. Mutations in the PLA2G6 gene eliminate or severely impair the function of the PLA2 group VI enzyme. Impairment of PLA2 group VI enzyme function may disrupt cell membrane maintenance and contribute to the development of swellings called spheroid bodies in the axons, which are fibers that extend from nerve cells (neurons) and transmit impulses to muscles and other neurons. Although it is unknown how changes in this enzyme's function lead to the signs and symptoms of infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, phospholipid metabolism problems have been seen in both this disorder and a similar disorder called pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. These disorders, as well as the more common Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease, also are associated with changes in brain iron metabolism. Researchers are studying the links between phospholipid defects, brain iron, and damage to nerve cells, but have not determined how the iron accumulation that occurs in some individuals with infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy may contribute to the features of this disorder.

other disorders - caused by mutations in the PLA2G6 gene

PLA2G6 gene mutations can also cause atypical neuroaxonal dystrophy and PLA2G6-related dystonia-parkinsonism, which are conditions in which deterioration of neurological function (neurodegeneration) occurs later in life. The term PLA2G6-associated neurodegeneration (PLAN) is often used to include the entire spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders caused by mutations in PLA2G6.

Atypical neuroaxonal dystrophy (atypical NAD) is a disorder with signs and symptoms that are similar to those of infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy but that occur later and progress more slowly. Atypical NAD usually appears in early childhood but in some cases is not evident until the teenage years.

PLA2G6-related dystonia-parkinsonism is also caused by PLA2G6 gene mutations and involves movement abnormalities that occur in adulthood. Dystonia is involuntary tensing of the muscles, and parkinsonism comprises a group of movement problems including unusually slow movement (bradykinesia), muscle rigidity, tremors, and an inability to hold the body upright and balanced (postural instability).

Both of these later-onset conditions are caused by PLA2G6 gene mutations that are believed to have a less severe effect on PLA2 group VI enzyme function than the mutations that cause infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy.

Where is the PLA2G6 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 22q13.1

Molecular Location on chromosome 22: base pairs 38,111,495 to 38,192,109

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

The PLA2G6 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 22 at position 13.1.

The PLA2G6 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 22 at position 13.1.

More precisely, the PLA2G6 gene is located from base pair 38,111,495 to base pair 38,192,109 on chromosome 22.

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

Where can I find additional information about PLA2G6?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about PLA2G6 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 PLA2G6 gene or gene products?

  • CaI-PLA2
  • calcium-independent phospholipase A2
  • cytosolic, calcium-independent phospholipase A2
  • GVI
  • INAD1
  • iPLA2
  • iPLA2beta
  • NBIA2
  • OTTHUMP00000028877
  • PARK14
  • patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 9
  • phospholipase A2, group VI
  • phospholipase A2, group VI (cytosolic, calcium-independent)
  • PLA2
  • PNPLA9

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 PLA2G6?

atypical ; axons ; bradykinesia ; calcium ; cell ; cell membrane ; compound ; disability ; domain ; dystonia ; enzyme ; gene ; involuntary ; iron ; kinase ; metabolism ; neurological ; parkinsonism ; phospholipid ; phospholipids ; spectrum ; teenage

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (12 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: September 2012
Published: February 1, 2016