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The official name of this gene is “aldehyde dehydrogenase 5 family, member A1.”
ALDH5A1 is the gene's official symbol. The ALDH5A1 gene is also known by other names, listed below.
The ALDH5A1 gene provides instructions for producing the succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase enzyme. This enzyme is found in the energy-producing centers of cells (mitochondria). Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase is involved in the breakdown of a chemical that transmits signals in the brain (neurotransmitter) called gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). The primary role of GABA is to prevent the brain from being overloaded with too many signals. Once GABA molecules have been released from nerve cells, they are broken down by succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase and other enzymes.
The ALDH5A1 gene belongs to a family of genes called ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenases).
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? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genefamilies) in the Handbook.
At least 35 mutations in the ALDH5A1 gene have been found to cause succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency. Most of these mutations change one protein building block (amino acid) in the succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase enzyme. Mutations in the ALDH5A1 gene lead to the production of an enzyme with little or no activity. A lack of functional succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase disrupts the conversion of succinic semialdehyde to succinic acid. Instead, succinic semialdehyde is converted back into GABA or to a related molecule, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). It is unclear how increases in GHB and GABA cause developmental delay, seizures, and other features of succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.
Cytogenetic Location: 6p22
Molecular Location on chromosome 6: base pairs 24,494,968 to 24,537,206
The ALDH5A1 gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 6 at position 22.
More precisely, the ALDH5A1 gene is located from base pair 24,494,968 to base pair 24,537,206 on chromosome 6.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/howgeneswork/genelocation) in the Handbook.
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about ALDH5A1 helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/mutationsanddisorders/naming) in the Handbook.
aldehyde ; amino acid ; breakdown ; deficiency ; dehydrogenase ; developmental delay ; enzyme ; GABA ; gene ; mitochondria ; molecule ; protein
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary (http://www.ghr.nlm.nih.gov/glossary).
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? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/consult/findingprofessional) in the Handbook.