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Reviewed August 2013
What is the official name of the RET gene?
The official name of this gene is “ret proto-oncogene.”
RET is the gene's official symbol. The RET 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 RET gene?
The RET gene provides instructions for producing a protein that is involved in signaling within cells. This protein appears to be essential for the normal development of several kinds of nerve cells, including nerves in the intestine (enteric neurons) and the portion of the nervous system that controls involuntary body functions such as heart rate (the autonomic nervous system). The RET protein is also necessary for normal kidney development and the production of sperm (spermatogenesis).
The RET protein spans the cell membrane, so that one end of the protein remains inside the cell and the other end projects from the outer surface of the cell. This positioning of the protein allows it to interact with specific factors outside the cell and to receive signals that help the cell respond to its environment. When molecules that stimulate growth and development (growth factors) attach to the RET protein, a complex cascade of chemical reactions inside the cell is triggered. These reactions instruct the cell to undergo certain changes, such as dividing or maturing to take on specialized functions.
Does the RET gene share characteristics with other genes?
The RET gene belongs to a family of genes called CDH (cadherins).
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 RET gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides information about lung cancer, which is also associated with changes in the RET gene.
Where is the RET gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 10q11.2
Molecular Location on chromosome 10: base pairs 43,077,027 to 43,130,351
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The RET gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 10 at position 11.2.
More precisely, the RET gene is located from base pair 43,077,027 to base pair 43,130,351 on chromosome 10.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about RET?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about RET 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 RET 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 RET?
acids ; adrenal glands ; amino acid ; arginine ; autonomic nervous system ; benign ; cancer ; carcinoma ; cell ; cell membrane ; constipation ; cysteine ; endocrine system ; enteric ; familial ; gene ; hormone ; inherited ; intestine ; involuntary ; kidney ; kinase ; medullary thyroid carcinoma ; methionine ; mutation ; neoplasia ; nervous system ; oncogene ; papillary ; pheochromocytoma ; protein ; proto-oncogene ; sperm ; spermatogenesis ; sporadic ; stool ; syndrome ; threonine ; thyroid
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (15 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.