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The official name of this gene is “interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4.”
IRAK4 is the gene's official symbol. The IRAK4 gene is also known by other names, listed below.
The IRAK4 gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays an important role in innate immunity, which is the body's early, nonspecific response to foreign invaders (pathogens). The IRAK-4 protein is part of a signaling pathway that is involved in early recognition of pathogens and the initiation of inflammation to fight infection.
In particular, the IRAK-4 protein relays signals from proteins called Toll-like receptors and IL-1 receptor-related proteins. As one of the first lines of defense against infection, Toll-like receptors recognize patterns that are common to many pathogens, rather than recognizing specific pathogens, and stimulate a quick immune response. The IL-1 receptor and related proteins recognize immune system proteins called cytokines that signal the need for an immune response. The resulting signaling pathway triggers inflammation, a nonspecific immune response that helps fight infection.
At least 20 mutations in the IRAK4 gene have been identified in people with IRAK-4 deficiency, an immune system disorder that leads to recurrent invasive bacterial infections. These gene mutations lead to an abnormally short, nonfunctional IRAK-4 protein or no protein at all. The loss of functional IRAK-4 protein blocks the initiation of inflammation in response to pathogens or cytokines that would normally help fight the infections. Because the early immune response is insufficient, bacterial infections occur often and become severe and invasive.
Cytogenetic Location: 12q12
Molecular Location on chromosome 12: base pairs 44,152,746 to 44,183,345
The IRAK4 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 12 at position 12.
More precisely, the IRAK4 gene is located from base pair 44,152,746 to base pair 44,183,345 on chromosome 12.
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 IRAK4 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.
deficiency ; gene ; immune response ; immune system ; infection ; inflammation ; innate immunity ; kinase ; protein ; receptor
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.