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Reviewed February 2013

What is the official name of the SKI gene?

The official name of this gene is “SKI proto-oncogene.”

SKI is the gene's official symbol. The SKI 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 SKI gene?

The SKI gene provides instructions for making a protein involved in a signaling pathway that transmits chemical signals from the cell surface to the nucleus. This pathway, called the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) pathway, allows the environment outside the cell to affect how the cell produces other proteins. It helps regulate cell growth and division (proliferation), the process by which cells mature to carry out special functions (differentiation), cell movement (motility), and the self-destruction of cells (apoptosis). Through this pathway, a group of proteins called the SMAD complex is turned on (activated). The activated SMAD protein complex moves to the cell nucleus and attaches (binds) to specific areas of DNA to control the activity of particular genes, which help regulate various cellular processes.

The SKI protein controls the activity of the TGF-β pathway by binding to certain SMAD proteins, which interrupts signaling through the pathway. SKI protein binding within the cell can keep the SMAD protein complex from entering the nucleus, so it is unable to activate genes. Binding of the SKI protein can also occur in the nucleus. Although the SMAD complex binds to DNA, the SKI protein attracts other proteins (corepressors) that block its ability to turn genes on.

The SKI protein is found in many cell types throughout the body and appears to play a role in the development of many tissues, including the skull, other bones, skin, and brain.

Does the SKI gene share characteristics with other genes?

The SKI gene belongs to a family of genes called SKOR (SKI transcriptional corepressors).

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 SKI gene related to health conditions?

Shprintzen-Goldberg syndrome - caused by mutations in the SKI gene

At least 10 mutations in the SKI gene have been found in people with Shprintzen-Goldberg syndrome, a condition characterized by distinctive facial features, skeletal abnormalities, and intellectual disability. Most of these mutations change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in the SKI protein. Many of the mutations alter the region of the SKI protein that binds to SMAD proteins. It is thought that altered SKI proteins are unable to attach to SMAD proteins, which allows TGF-β signaling to continue uncontrolled. Excess TGF-β signaling changes the regulation of gene activity and likely disrupts development of many body systems, including the bones and brain, resulting in the wide range of signs and symptoms of Shprintzen-Goldberg syndrome.

Where is the SKI gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 1p36.33

Molecular Location on chromosome 1: base pairs 2,228,695 to 2,310,213

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The SKI gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 1 at position 36.33.

The SKI gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 1 at position 36.33.

More precisely, the SKI gene is located from base pair 2,228,695 to base pair 2,310,213 on chromosome 1.

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

Where can I find additional information about SKI?

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

  • proto-oncogene c-Ski
  • ski oncogene
  • ski oncoprotein
  • v-ski avian sarcoma viral oncogene homolog
  • v-ski sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (avian)

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 SKI?

acids ; apoptosis ; cell ; cell nucleus ; differentiation ; disability ; DNA ; gene ; growth factor ; nucleus ; oncogene ; proliferation ; protein ; proto-oncogene ; sarcoma ; syndrome

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (6 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.

Reviewed: February 2013
Published: February 1, 2016