|A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®|
On this page:
Reviewed September 2008
What is the official name of the SAA1 gene?
The official name of this gene is “serum amyloid A1.”
SAA1 is the gene's official symbol. The SAA1 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 SAA1 gene?
The SAA1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called serum amyloid A1. This protein is made primarily in the liver and circulates in low levels in the blood. Although its function is not fully understood, serum amyloid A1 appears to play a role in the immune system. Serum amyloid A1 may help repair damaged tissues, act as an antibacterial agent, and signal the migration of germ-fighting cells to sites of infection.
Levels of this protein increase in the blood and other tissues under conditions of inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the immune system sends signaling molecules and white blood cells to a site of injury or disease to fight microbial invaders and facilitate tissue repair. When this has been accomplished, the body stops the inflammatory response to prevent damage to its own cells and tissues.
There are three versions of the serum amyloid A1 protein, known as alpha, beta, and gamma, which differ by one or two protein building blocks (amino acids). The frequency of these variants differs across populations. In white populations, the alpha version predominates and gamma is rare. In the Japanese population, however, the three versions appear almost equally.
Does the SAA1 gene share characteristics with other genes?
The SAA1 gene belongs to a family of genes called endogenous ligands (endogenous ligands).
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 SAA1 gene related to health conditions?
Where is the SAA1 gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 11p15.1
Molecular Location on chromosome 11: base pairs 18,266,261 to 18,269,977
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The SAA1 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 at position 15.1.
More precisely, the SAA1 gene is located from base pair 18,266,261 to base pair 18,269,977 on chromosome 11.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about SAA1?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about SAA1 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 SAA1 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 SAA1?
acids ; amyloid ; amyloidosis ; antibacterial ; arthritis ; chronic ; complication ; familial ; fever ; gene ; immune system ; infection ; inflammation ; injury ; juvenile ; kidney ; population ; protein ; susceptibility ; tissue ; tumor ; white blood cells
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (17 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.