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


Reviewed July 2009

What is the official name of the SGCE gene?

The official name of this gene is “sarcoglycan, epsilon.”

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

What is the normal function of the SGCE gene?

The SGCE gene provides instructions for making a protein called epsilon (ε)-sarcoglycan, whose function is unknown. The ε-sarcoglycan protein is found within the cell membranes of the lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen, but it is most abundant in nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and in muscle cells. Researchers suspect that in the brain the ε-sarcoglycan protein plays a role in the functioning of synapses, which are the connections between neurons where cell-to-cell communication occurs.

People inherit one copy of most genes from their mother and one copy from their father. Both copies are typically active, or "turned on," in cells. The SGCE gene, however, is active only when it is inherited from a person's father. This sort of parent-specific difference in gene activation is caused by a phenomenon called genomic imprinting.

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

myoclonus-dystonia - caused by mutations in the SGCE gene

More than 65 mutations in the SGCE gene have been found to cause myoclonus-dystonia. Most of these mutations lead to an abnormally short, nonfunctional ε-sarcoglycan protein that is quickly broken down. Other mutations prevent the protein from reaching the cell membrane where it is needed. The protein shortage seems to affect the regions of the brain involved in coordinating movements (the cerebellum) and controlling movements (the basal ganglia). Thus, the movement problems experienced by people with myoclonus-dystonia are caused by dysfunction in the brain, not the muscles. A shortage of functional ε-sarcoglycan protein in the brain leads to the involuntary movements characteristic of myoclonus-dystonia.

Myoclonus-dystonia occurs when mutations affect the paternal copy of the SGCE gene. More than 95 percent of individuals who inherit an SGCE gene mutation from their mothers do not show symptoms of the disease. Rarely, individuals who inherit a SGCE gene mutation from their mothers will develop features of myoclonus-dystonia. It is unclear why a gene that is supposed to be turned off is active in these rare cases.

Where is the SGCE gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 7q21.3

Molecular Location on chromosome 7: base pairs 94,585,223 to 94,656,208

The SGCE gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 7 at position 21.3.

The SGCE gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 7 at position 21.3.

More precisely, the SGCE gene is located from base pair 94,585,223 to base pair 94,656,208 on chromosome 7.

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

Where can I find additional information about SGCE?

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

  • DYT11
  • ESG

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

What glossary definitions help with understanding SGCE?

cell ; cell membrane ; cerebellum ; dystonia ; gene ; imprinting ; inherit ; inherited ; involuntary ; muscle cells ; mutation ; myoclonus ; protein

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


  • Esapa CT, Waite A, Locke M, Benson MA, Kraus M, McIlhinney RA, Sillitoe RV, Beesley PW, Blake DJ. SGCE missense mutations that cause myoclonus-dystonia syndrome impair epsilon-sarcoglycan trafficking to the plasma membrane: modulation by ubiquitination and torsinA. Hum Mol Genet. 2007 Feb 1;16(3):327-42. Epub 2007 Jan 2. (
  • Grabowski M, Zimprich A, Lorenz-Depiereux B, Kalscheuer V, Asmus F, Gasser T, Meitinger T, Strom TM. The epsilon-sarcoglycan gene (SGCE), mutated in myoclonus-dystonia syndrome, is maternally imprinted. Eur J Hum Genet. 2003 Feb;11(2):138-44. (
  • Hedrich K, Meyer EM, Schüle B, Kock N, de Carvalho Aguiar P, Wiegers K, Koelman JH, Garrels J, Dürr R, Liu L, Schwinger E, Ozelius LJ, Landwehrmeyer B, Stoessl AJ, Tijssen MA, Klein C. Myoclonus-dystonia: detection of novel, recurrent, and de novo SGCE mutations. Neurology. 2004 Apr 13;62(7):1229-31. (
  • Nardocci N, Zorzi G, Barzaghi C, Zibordi F, Ciano C, Ghezzi D, Garavaglia B. Myoclonus-dystonia syndrome: clinical presentation, disease course, and genetic features in 11 families. Mov Disord. 2008 Jan;23(1):28-34. (
  • NCBI Gene (
  • Ritz K, Gerrits MC, Foncke EM, van Ruissen F, van der Linden C, Vergouwen MD, Bloem BR, Vandenberghe W, Crols R, Speelman JD, Baas F, Tijssen MA. Myoclonus-dystonia: clinical and genetic evaluation of a large cohort. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 Jun;80(6):653-8. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2008.162099. Epub 2008 Dec 9. (
  • Tezenas du Montcel S, Clot F, Vidailhet M, Roze E, Damier P, Jedynak CP, Camuzat A, Lagueny A, Vercueil L, Doummar D, Guyant-Maréchal L, Houeto JL, Ponsot G, Thobois S, Cournelle MA, Durr A, Durif F, Echenne B, Hannequin D, Tranchant C, Brice A; French Dystonia Network. Epsilon sarcoglycan mutations and phenotype in French patients with myoclonic syndromes. J Med Genet. 2006 May;43(5):394-400. Epub 2005 Oct 14. (


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: July 2009
Published: October 12, 2015