|A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®|
On this page:
Reviewed February 2013
What is the official name of the WAS gene?
The official name of this gene is “Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.”
WAS is the gene's official symbol. The WAS 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 WAS gene?
The WAS gene provides instructions for making a protein called WASP. This protein is found in all blood cells. WASP is involved in relaying signals from the surface of blood cells to the actin cytoskeleton, which is a network of fibers that make up the cell's structural framework. WASP signaling activates the cell when it is needed and triggers its movement (motility) and attachment to other cells and tissues (adhesion). In white blood cells, which protect the body from infection, this signaling allows the actin cytoskeleton to establish the interaction between cells and the foreign invaders that they target (immune synapse).
How are changes in the WAS gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides information about severe congenital neutropenia, which is also associated with changes in the WAS gene.
Where is the WAS gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: Xp11.4-p11.21
Molecular Location on the X chromosome: base pairs 48,683,790 to 48,691,427
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The WAS gene is located on the short (p) arm of the X chromosome between positions 11.4 and 11.21.
More precisely, the WAS gene is located from base pair 48,683,790 to base pair 48,691,427 on the X chromosome.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about WAS?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about WAS 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 WAS 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 WAS?
acids ; actin ; cell ; cell membrane ; congenital ; cytoskeleton ; deficiency ; eczema ; gene ; hematopoietic ; immune system ; infection ; neutropenia ; platelets ; protein ; stem cells ; susceptibility ; synapse ; syndrome ; thrombocytopenia ; 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 (10 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.