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The official name of this gene is “immunity-related GTPase family, M.”
IRGM is the gene's official symbol. The IRGM gene is also known by other names, listed below.
The IRGM gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays an important role in the immune system. This protein is involved in a process called autophagy, which cells use to surround and destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Specifically, the IRGM protein helps trigger autophagy in cells infected with certain kinds of bacteria (mycobacteria), including the type of bacteria that causes tuberculosis. In addition to protecting cells from infection, autophagy is used to recycle worn-out cell parts and break down certain proteins when they are no longer needed. This process also plays an important role in controlled cell death (apoptosis).
Several variations in or near the IRGM gene have been associated with an increased risk of developing Crohn disease. This increased risk has been found primarily in Caucasian (white) populations. IRGM variations change single DNA building blocks (nucleotides) in regions of DNA that may regulate when and how the IRGM protein is produced. It is unclear how these changes influence a person's chance of developing Crohn disease. Researchers suspect that changes involving the IRGM protein may disrupt the autophagy process, preventing the immune system from destroying harmful bacteria effectively. An abnormal immune response to bacteria in the intestinal walls may lead to chronic inflammation and the digestive problems characteristic of Crohn disease.
Cytogenetic Location: 5q33.1
Molecular Location on chromosome 5: base pairs 150,846,522 to 150,848,668
The IRGM gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 5 at position 33.1.
More precisely, the IRGM gene is located from base pair 150,846,522 to base pair 150,848,668 on chromosome 5.
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 IRGM 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.
apoptosis ; autophagy ; bacteria ; cell ; chronic ; digestive ; DNA ; gene ; immune response ; immune system ; infection ; inflammation ; mycobacteria ; mycobacterium ; protein ; tuberculosis
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.