The PORCN gene provides instructions for making a protein that belongs to a group of related proteins called the porcupine (Porc) family. Although the precise function of the PORCN protein is unknown, proteins in the Porc family are involved in the process of transferring a molecule called palmitoleic acid to Wnt proteins. Wnt proteins participate in chemical signaling pathways in the body and play critical roles in development before birth. Members of the Porc family are located in the endoplasmic reticulum, which is a structure inside the cell that is involved in protein processing and transport. The transfer of palmitoleic acid to Wnt proteins facilitates the release of these proteins from the cell so they can regulate development of the skin, bones, and other structures. Researchers are working to determine the specific role of the PORCN protein within human cells.
At least 29 mutations in the PORCN gene have been found to cause focal dermal hypoplasia. These mutations may alter the protein's structure, lead to the production of an abnormally short version of the protein, or delete the entire PORCN gene. All of these mutations appear to result in the absence of any functional PORCN protein. Researchers believe Wnt proteins cannot be released from the cell without the PORCN protein. When Wnt proteins are unable to leave the cell, they cannot participate in the chemical signaling pathways that are critical for normal development.
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- porcupine homolog (Drosophila)
- porcupine isoform A
- porcupine isoform B
- porcupine isoform C
- porcupine isoform D
- porcupine isoform E