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SERAC1 gene

serine active site containing 1

Normal Function

The SERAC1 gene provides instructions for making a protein whose function is not completely understood. Studies suggest that the SERAC1 protein is involved in altering (remodeling) certain fats called phospholipids, particularly a phospholipid called phosphatidylglycerol.

Another phospholipid called cardiolipin is made from phosphatidylglycerol. Cardiolipin is a component of the membrane that surrounds cellular structures called mitochondria, which convert the energy from food into a form that cells can use, and is important for the proper functioning of these structures.

Researchers believe that the SERAC1 protein is also involved in the movement of a waxy, fat-like substance called cholesterol within cells. Cholesterol is a structural component of cell membranes and plays a role in the production of certain hormones and digestive acids. It has important functions both before and after birth.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

MEGDEL syndrome

At least 16 mutations in the SERAC1 gene have been found to cause MEGDEL syndrome. This condition is characterized by hearing loss, neurological problems, certain changes in the brain described as Leigh-like disease, and abnormally high amounts of an acid called 3-methylglutaconic acid in the urine. The SERAC1 gene mutations that cause this condition reduce the amount of SERAC1 protein that is produced or lead to production of a protein with little or no function. As a result, phosphatidylglycerol remodeling is impaired, which likely alters the composition of cardiolipin. Researchers speculate that the abnormal cardiolipin affects mitochondrial function, reducing cellular energy production and leading to the neurological and hearing problems characteristic of MEGDEL syndrome. It is unclear how SERAC1 gene mutations lead to abnormal release of 3-methylglutaconic acid in the urine.

More About This Health Condition

Leigh syndrome

MedlinePlus Genetics provides information about Leigh syndrome

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • FLJ14917
  • protein SERAC1
  • serine active site-containing protein 1

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Sarig O, Goldsher D, Nousbeck J, Fuchs-Telem D, Cohen-Katsenelson K, Iancu TC, Manov I, Saada A, Sprecher E, Mandel H. Infantile mitochondrial hepatopathy is a cardinal feature of MEGDEL syndrome (3-methylglutaconic aciduria type IV with sensorineural deafness, encephalopathy and Leigh-like syndrome) caused by novel mutations in SERAC1. Am J Med Genet A. 2013 Sep;161A(9):2204-15. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.36059. Epub 2013 Aug 5. Citation on PubMed
  • Tort F, Garcia-Silva MT, Ferrer-Cortes X, Navarro-Sastre A, Garcia-Villoria J, Coll MJ, Vidal E, Jimenez-Almazan J, Dopazo J, Briones P, Elpeleg O, Ribes A. Exome sequencing identifies a new mutation in SERAC1 in a patient with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. Mol Genet Metab. 2013 Sep-Oct;110(1-2):73-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2013.04.021. Epub 2013 May 3. Citation on PubMed
  • Wortmann SB, Vaz FM, Gardeitchik T, Vissers LE, Renkema GH, Schuurs-Hoeijmakers JH, Kulik W, Lammens M, Christin C, Kluijtmans LA, Rodenburg RJ, Nijtmans LG, Grunewald A, Klein C, Gerhold JM, Kozicz T, van Hasselt PM, Harakalova M, Kloosterman W, Baric I, Pronicka E, Ucar SK, Naess K, Singhal KK, Krumina Z, Gilissen C, van Bokhoven H, Veltman JA, Smeitink JA, Lefeber DJ, Spelbrink JN, Wevers RA, Morava E, de Brouwer AP. Mutations in the phospholipid remodeling gene SERAC1 impair mitochondrial function and intracellular cholesterol trafficking and cause dystonia and deafness. Nat Genet. 2012 Jun 10;44(7):797-802. doi: 10.1038/ng.2325. Citation on PubMed

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