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TINF2 gene

TERF1 interacting nuclear factor 2

Normal Function

The TINF2 gene provides instructions for making part of the shelterin protein complex. This complex consists of a group of proteins that work together to help maintain structures known as telomeres, which are found at the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres help protect chromosomes from abnormally sticking together or breaking down (degrading).

The shelterin complex helps protect telomeres from the cell's DNA repair process. Without the protection of shelterin, the repair mechanism would sense the chromosome ends as abnormal breaks in the DNA sequence and either attempt to join the ends together or initiate cellular self-destruction (apoptosis).

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Dyskeratosis congenita

At least 15 mutations in the TINF2 gene have been identified in people with dyskeratosis congenita, including a severe form of this disorder called Revesz syndrome. Dyskeratosis congenita is characterized by changes in skin coloring (pigmentation), white patches inside the mouth (oral leukoplakia), and abnormally formed fingernails and toenails (nail dystrophy). People with dyskeratosis congenita have an increased risk of developing several life-threatening conditions, including cancer and a progressive lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis. Many affected individuals also develop a serious condition called aplastic anemia, also known as bone marrow failure, which occurs when the bone marrow does not produce enough new blood cells.

Most of the TINF2 gene mutations that cause dyskeratosis congenita change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in the TINF2 protein, likely disrupting the function of the protein. The mutations result in dysfunction of the shelterin complex, interfering with its protection of telomeres and leading to reduced telomere length. Shortened telomeres can result in damage to genetic material, causing the cell to stop dividing or to undergo apoptosis.

Cells that divide rapidly are especially vulnerable to the effects of shortened telomeres. As a result, people with dyskeratosis congenita may experience a variety of problems affecting quickly dividing cells in the body such as cells of the nail beds, hair follicles, skin, lining of the mouth (oral mucosa), and bone marrow.

Breakage and instability of chromosomes resulting from inadequate telomere maintenance may lead to genetic changes that allow cells to divide in an uncontrolled way, resulting in the development of cancer in some people with dyskeratosis congenita.

More About This Health Condition

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

MedlinePlus Genetics provides information about Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • (TRF1)-interacting nuclear factor 2 variant 1
  • TERF1 (TRF1)-interacting nuclear factor 2
  • TERF1-interacting nuclear factor 2
  • TERF1-interacting nuclear factor 2 isoform 1
  • TERF1-interacting nuclear factor 2 isoform 2
  • TIN2
  • TRF1-interacting nuclear protein 2

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


  • Ballew BJ, Savage SA. Updates on the biology and management of dyskeratosis congenita and related telomere biology disorders. Expert Rev Hematol. 2013 Jun;6(3):327-37. doi: 10.1586/ehm.13.23. Citation on PubMed
  • Baran I, Nalcaci R, Kocak M. Dyskeratosis congenita: clinical report and review of the literature. Int J Dent Hyg. 2010 Feb;8(1):68-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2009.00364.x. Citation on PubMed
  • Calado RT, Young NS. Telomere maintenance and human bone marrow failure. Blood. 2008 May 1;111(9):4446-55. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-08-019729. Epub 2008 Jan 31. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Calado RT. Telomeres and marrow failure. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2009:338-43. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2009.1.338. Citation on PubMed
  • Chan SS, Chang S. Defending the end zone: studying the players involved in protecting chromosome ends. FEBS Lett. 2010 Sep 10;584(17):3773-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.06.016. Epub 2010 Jun 19. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Kirwan M, Dokal I. Dyskeratosis congenita, stem cells and telomeres. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Apr;1792(4):371-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2009.01.010. Epub 2009 Feb 7. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Nishio N, Kojima S. Recent progress in dyskeratosis congenita. Int J Hematol. 2010 Oct;92(3):419-24. doi: 10.1007/s12185-010-0695-5. Epub 2010 Oct 1. Citation on PubMed
  • Sasa GS, Ribes-Zamora A, Nelson ND, Bertuch AA. Three novel truncating TINF2 mutations causing severe dyskeratosis congenita in early childhood. Clin Genet. 2012 May;81(5):470-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2011.01658.x. Epub 2011 Apr 7. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Savage SA, Giri N, Baerlocher GM, Orr N, Lansdorp PM, Alter BP. TINF2, a component of the shelterin telomere protection complex, is mutated in dyskeratosis congenita. Am J Hum Genet. 2008 Feb;82(2):501-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2007.10.004. Epub 2008 Jan 31. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Walne AJ, Dokal I. Advances in the understanding of dyskeratosis congenita. Br J Haematol. 2009 Apr;145(2):164-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07598.x. Epub 2009 Feb 4. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Walne AJ, Vulliamy T, Beswick R, Kirwan M, Dokal I. TINF2 mutations result in very short telomeres: analysis of a large cohort of patients with dyskeratosis congenita and related bone marrow failure syndromes. Blood. 2008 Nov 1;112(9):3594-600. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-05-153445. Epub 2008 Jul 30. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.