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The official name of this gene is “ELOVL fatty acid elongase 4.”
ELOVL4 is the gene's official symbol. The ELOVL4 gene is also known by other names, listed below.
The ELOVL4 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is found primarily in the retina, the specialized light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Within the retina, the ELOVL4 protein is produced in specialized light receptor cells (photoreceptors). The ELOVL4 protein is also found in the brain and skin, but less is known about its activity (expression) in these structures.
Inside photoreceptor cells, this protein is located in a cell structure called the endoplasmic reticulum that is involved in protein production, processing, and transport. The ELOVL4 protein plays a role in making a group of fats called very long-chain fatty acids. The protein helps add carbon molecules to long-chain fatty acids, making them very long-chain fatty acids. The function of the very long-chain fatty acids produced by the ELOVL4 protein is unknown.
At least three mutations in the ELOVL4 gene have been found to cause Stargardt macular degeneration. These mutations create a premature stop signal in the instructions used to make the ELOVL4 protein. As a result, the protein cannot be retained in the endoplasmic reticulum of photoreceptor cells. Instead, the ELOVL4 protein forms clumps (aggregates). These aggregates cannot make very long-chain fatty acids and may interfere with cell functions, ultimately leading to cell death. The loss of photoreceptor cells causes progressive vision loss in people with Stargardt macular degeneration. Mutations in the ELOVL4 gene are a rare cause of this condition.
Cytogenetic Location: 6q14
Molecular Location on chromosome 6: base pairs 79,914,811 to 79,947,597
The ELOVL4 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 6 at position 14.
More precisely, the ELOVL4 gene is located from base pair 79,914,811 to base pair 79,947,597 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 ELOVL4 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.
acids ; cell ; endoplasmic reticulum ; fatty acids ; gene ; photoreceptor ; protein ; receptor ; retina ; tissue
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.