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DN gene family

Reviewed August 2010

What are the DN genes?

Genes in the DN gene family provide instructions for making proteins that group together to form a complex called dynein. Dynein is found within cell structures called cilia, which are microscopic, finger-like projections that stick out from the surface of cells. Coordinated back and forth movement of cilia can move the cell or the fluid surrounding the cell. Dynein produces the force needed for cilia to move.

Dynein is found within the core of cilia (the axoneme). The axoneme is supported by rigid, hollow fibers called microtubules, which are linked together to form a circle. The dynein molecules are part of structures called inner dynein arms (IDAs) that are attached to the inside of this circle and structures called outer dynein arms (ODA) that are attached to the outside of this circle. Coordinated movement of the dynein arms causes the microtubules to slide against each other, which makes the entire axoneme bend. The protein components (subunits) that make up the dynein arms are classified by their weight as heavy, intermediate, or light chains. Each subunit is produced from a different gene, and ODAs have a different combination of subunits than IDAs.

Researchers have identified at least 18 genes in the DN gene family. Mutations in several of these genes have been found to cause primary ciliary dyskinesia, a disorder caused by impaired movement of cilia.

Which genes are included in the DN gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene familiesThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. and their member genes.

Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of these members of the DN gene family: DNAH5 and DNAI1.

What conditions are related to genes in the DN gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the DN gene family:

Where can I find additional information about the DN gene family?

You may find the following resources about the DN gene family helpful.

Where can I find general information about genes and gene families?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

What glossary definitions help with understanding the DN gene family?

axoneme ; cell ; dyskinesia ; gene ; protein ; subunit

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: August 2010
Published: February 8, 2016