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Reviewed October 2011
What is the official name of the SDHA gene?
The official name of this gene is “succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit A, flavoprotein (Fp).”
SDHA is the gene's official symbol. The SDHA 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 SDHA gene?
The SDHA gene provides instructions for making one of four parts (subunits) of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) enzyme. The SDH enzyme plays a critical role in mitochondria, which are structures inside cells that convert the energy from food into a form that cells can use.
Within mitochondria, the SDH enzyme links two important pathways in energy conversion: the citric acid cycle (or Krebs cycle) and oxidative phosphorylation. As part of the citric acid cycle, the SDH enzyme converts a compound called succinate to another compound called fumarate. Negatively charged particles called electrons are released during this reaction. The SDHA protein is the active subunit of the enzyme that performs the conversion of succinate, and it also helps transfer electrons to the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. In oxidative phosphorylation, the electrons help create an electrical charge that provides energy for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell's main energy source.
Succinate, the compound on which the SDH enzyme acts, is an oxygen sensor in the cell and can help turn on specific pathways that stimulate cells to grow in a low-oxygen environment (hypoxia). In particular, succinate stabilizes a protein called hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) by preventing a reaction that would allow HIF to be broken down. HIF controls several important genes involved in cell division and the formation of new blood vessels in a hypoxic environment.
The SDHA gene is a tumor suppressor gene, which means it prevents cells from growing and dividing in an uncontrolled way.
Does the SDHA gene share characteristics with other genes?
The SDHA gene belongs to a family of genes called mitochondrial respiratory chain complex (mitochondrial respiratory chain complex).
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 SDHA gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides additional information about these conditions associated with changes in the SDHA gene:
Where is the SDHA gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 5p15
Molecular Location on chromosome 5: base pairs 218,223 to 264,816
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The SDHA gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 5 at position 15.
More precisely, the SDHA gene is located from base pair 218,223 to base pair 264,816 on chromosome 5.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about SDHA?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about SDHA 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 SDHA 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 SDHA?
acids ; adenosine triphosphate ; ATP ; benign ; cell ; cell division ; charged particles ; compound ; dehydrogenase ; enzyme ; gastrointestinal ; gene ; hypoxia ; hypoxic ; inherited ; kidney ; mitochondria ; mutation ; nervous system ; oxidative phosphorylation ; oxygen ; pheochromocytoma ; phosphorylation ; protein ; protein sequence ; somatic mutation ; subunit ; syndrome ; tumor ; tumor suppressor gene ; ubiquinone
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (8 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.