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


Reviewed February 2007

What is the official name of the RAI1 gene?

The official name of this gene is “retinoic acid induced 1.”

RAI1 is the gene's official symbol. The RAI1 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

What is the normal function of the RAI1 gene?

The RAI1 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is active in nerve cells in the brain. Although the function of this protein is unknown, it is thought to be involved in nervous system development. Within cells, the RAI1 protein may be part of a protein complex (a group of proteins that work together) that helps control the activity of certain genes.

How are changes in the RAI1 gene related to health conditions?

Smith-Magenis syndrome - caused by mutations in the RAI1 gene

Researchers believe that a change in the function of the RAI1 gene is responsible for most of the physical, mental, and behavioral features of Smith-Magenis syndrome. In most cases, one copy of the RAI1 gene in each cell is lost when a region of chromosome 17 that contains the gene is deleted. It is unclear how the loss of this gene leads to the characteristic signs and symptoms of this condition.

A small percentage of cases are caused by a mutation in the RAI1 gene instead of a chromosomal deletion. Although these individuals have many of the major features of Smith-Magenis syndrome (including intellectual disability, behavioral problems, and sleep disturbances), they are less likely than people with a chromosomal deletion to have short stature, hearing loss, and heart or kidney abnormalities. At least 12 RAI1 mutations have been identified in people with Smith-Magenis syndrome. These mutations lead to the production of a nonfunctional version of the RAI1 protein or reduce the amount of this protein that is produced in cells. Scientists are working to determine how a missing or abnormal RAI1 protein results in the varied features of this disorder.

Where is the RAI1 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 17p11.2

Molecular Location on chromosome 17: base pairs 17,681,473 to 17,811,453

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

The RAI1 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 17 at position 11.2.

The RAI1 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 17 at position 11.2.

More precisely, the RAI1 gene is located from base pair 17,681,473 to base pair 17,811,453 on chromosome 17.

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

Where can I find additional information about RAI1?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about RAI1 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 RAI1 gene or gene products?

  • KIAA1820
  • SMCR
  • SMS

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

What glossary definitions help with understanding RAI1?

cell ; chromosome ; deletion ; disability ; gene ; kidney ; mutation ; nervous system ; protein ; short stature ; stature ; syndrome

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


  • Bi W, Saifi GM, Girirajan S, Shi X, Szomju B, Firth H, Magenis RE, Potocki L, Elsea SH, Lupski JR. RAI1 point mutations, CAG repeat variation, and SNP analysis in non-deletion Smith-Magenis syndrome. Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Nov 15;140(22):2454-63. (
  • Bi W, Saifi GM, Shaw CJ, Walz K, Fonseca P, Wilson M, Potocki L, Lupski JR. Mutations of RAI1, a PHD-containing protein, in nondeletion patients with Smith-Magenis syndrome. Hum Genet. 2004 Nov;115(6):515-24. Epub 2004 Sep 30. (
  • Gene Review: Smith-Magenis Syndrome (
  • Girirajan S, Elsas LJ 2nd, Devriendt K, Elsea SH. RAI1 variations in Smith-Magenis syndrome patients without 17p11.2 deletions. J Med Genet. 2005 Nov;42(11):820-8. Epub 2005 Mar 23. (
  • Girirajan S, Vlangos CN, Szomju BB, Edelman E, Trevors CD, Dupuis L, Nezarati M, Bunyan DJ, Elsea SH. Genotype-phenotype correlation in Smith-Magenis syndrome: evidence that multiple genes in 17p11.2 contribute to the clinical spectrum. Genet Med. 2006 Jul;8(7):417-27. (
  • NCBI Gene (
  • Slager RE, Newton TL, Vlangos CN, Finucane B, Elsea SH. Mutations in RAI1 associated with Smith-Magenis syndrome. Nat Genet. 2003 Apr;33(4):466-8. Epub 2003 Mar 24. (


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 2007
Published: February 1, 2016