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Reviewed November 2014

What is the official name of the TSEN2 gene?

The official name of this gene is “tRNA splicing endonuclease subunit 2.”

TSEN2 is the gene's official symbol. The TSEN2 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 TSEN2 gene?

The TSEN2 gene provides instructions for making one part (subunit) of an enzyme called the tRNA splicing endonuclease complex. This complex helps process several types of RNA molecules, which are chemical cousins of DNA.

The tRNA splicing endonuclease complex is particularly important for the normal processing of a form of RNA known as transfer RNA (tRNA). tRNA molecules help assemble protein building blocks called amino acids into full-length proteins. However, before they can assemble proteins, tRNAs must be processed into mature molecules. In particular, regions called introns need to be removed from some tRNAs for the molecules to be functional. The tRNA splicing endonuclease complex recognizes and then removes introns to help produce mature tRNA molecules.

Studies suggest that the tRNA splicing endonuclease complex may also be involved in processing another form of RNA known as messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA serves as a genetic blueprint for making proteins. Researchers suspect that the tRNA splicing endonuclease complex cuts (cleaves) one end of mRNA molecules so a string of adenines (one of the building blocks of RNA) can be added. This process is known as polyadenylation, and the string of adenines is known as a poly(A) tail. The poly(A) tail signals the stopping point for protein production and protects mRNA from being broken down before protein production occurs.

How are changes in the TSEN2 gene related to health conditions?

pontocerebellar hypoplasia - caused by mutations in the TSEN2 gene

At least four mutations in the TSEN2 gene have been identified in people with a disorder of brain development called pontocerebellar hypoplasia. The major features of this condition include delayed development, problems with movement, and intellectual disability. TSEN2 gene mutations cause a small percentage of all cases of a form of the disorder designated pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 2 (PCH2). When PCH2 results from TSEN2 gene mutations, it is sometimes categorized more specifically as PCH2B.

The TSEN2 gene mutations that cause PCH2B impair the function of the tRNA splicing endonuclease complex, which likely disrupts the processing of RNA molecules and affects the production of many types of proteins. Before birth, these changes appear to have the most severe impact on fast-growing tissues, such as those in the brain. However, it is unknown exactly how reduced function of the tRNA splicing endonuclease complex leads to abnormal brain development in people with this condition.

Where is the TSEN2 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 3p25.2

Molecular Location on chromosome 3: base pairs 12,484,432 to 12,539,622

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

The TSEN2 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 3 at position 25.2.

The TSEN2 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 3 at position 25.2.

More precisely, the TSEN2 gene is located from base pair 12,484,432 to base pair 12,539,622 on chromosome 3.

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

Where can I find additional information about TSEN2?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about TSEN2 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 TSEN2 gene or gene products?

  • HsSen2
  • MGC2776
  • MGC4440
  • SEN2
  • SEN2L
  • tRNA-intron nuclease 2
  • tRNA splicing endonuclease 2 homolog (S. cerevisiae)

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 TSEN2?

acids ; disability ; DNA ; endonuclease ; enzyme ; gene ; hypoplasia ; intron ; messenger RNA ; mRNA ; nuclease ; polyadenylation ; protein ; RNA ; splicing ; subunit ; transfer RNA ; tRNA

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

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (5 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: November 2014
Published: February 8, 2016