URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/ube3a/

UBE3A gene

ubiquitin protein ligase E3A
From Genetics Home Reference. Learn more

Normal Function

The UBE3A gene provides instructions for making a protein called ubiquitin protein ligase E3A. Ubiquitin protein ligases are enzymes that target other proteins to be broken down (degraded) within cells. These enzymes attach a small molecule called ubiquitin to proteins that should be degraded. Cellular structures called proteasomes recognize and digest these ubiquitin-tagged proteins. Protein degradation is a normal process that removes damaged or unnecessary proteins and helps maintain the normal functions of cells.

Studies suggest that ubiquitin protein ligase E3A plays a critical role in the normal development and function of the nervous system. Studies suggest that it helps control (regulate) the balance of protein synthesis and degradation (proteostasis) at the junctions between nerve cells (synapses) where cell-to-cell communication takes place. Regulation of proteostasis is important for the synapses to change and adapt over time in response to experience, a characteristic called synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is critical for learning and memory.

People normally inherit two copies of the UBE3A gene, one from each parent. Both copies of the gene are turned on (active) in most of the body's tissues. In certain areas of the brain, however, only the copy inherited from a person's mother (the maternal copy) is active. This parent-specific gene activation results from a phenomenon known as genomic imprinting.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Angelman syndrome

A loss of UBE3A gene function in the brain likely causes many of the characteristic features of Angelman syndrome, a complex genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. This loss of function results from a chromosomal change or gene mutation that affects the maternal copy of the gene.

Several different genetic mechanisms can turn off (inactivate) or delete the UBE3A gene. Most cases of Angelman syndrome (about 70 percent) occur when a segment of the maternal chromosome 15 containing this gene is deleted. In another 11 percent of cases, Angelman syndrome results from mutations within the UBE3A gene itself. Most of these mutations lead to the production of an abnormally short, nonfunctional version of ubiquitin protein ligase E3A. Because the copy of the gene inherited from a person's father (the paternal copy) is normally inactive in some areas of the brain, loss of the maternal copy prevents any of the enzyme from being produced in these brain regions. This lack of enzyme function likely causes the major signs and symptoms of Angelman syndrome.

Other abnormalities involving the region of chromosome 15 that contains the UBE3A gene can also cause Angelman syndrome. These chromosomal changes include rearrangements (translocations) of genetic material or a defect in the region of DNA that controls activation of the UBE3A gene. Like mutations within the gene, these chromosomal changes prevent any functional ubiquitin protein ligase E3A from being produced in certain parts of the brain.

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • ANCR
  • CTCL tumor antigen se37-2
  • E6-AP
  • E6AP ubiquitin-protein ligase
  • EPVE6AP
  • HPVE6A
  • human papilloma virus E6-associated protein
  • oncogenic protein-associated protein E6-AP
  • UBE3A_HUMAN
  • ubiquitin protein ligase E3A (human papilloma virus E6-associated protein, Angelman syndrome)

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Research Resources

References

  • Bittel DC, Kibiryeva N, Talebizadeh Z, Driscoll DJ, Butler MG. Microarray analysis of gene/transcript expression in Angelman syndrome: deletion versus UPD. Genomics. 2005 Jan;85(1):85-91. Citation on PubMed
  • Camprubí C, Guitart M, Gabau E, Coll MD, Villatoro S, Oltra S, Roselló M, Ferrer I, Monfort S, Orellana C, Martínez F. Novel UBE3A mutations causing Angelman syndrome: different parental origin for single nucleotide changes and multiple nucleotide deletions or insertions. Am J Med Genet A. 2009 Mar;149A(3):343-8. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.32659. Citation on PubMed
  • Clayton-Smith J, Laan L. Angelman syndrome: a review of the clinical and genetic aspects. J Med Genet. 2003 Feb;40(2):87-95. Review. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Fang P, Lev-Lehman E, Tsai TF, Matsuura T, Benton CS, Sutcliffe JS, Christian SL, Kubota T, Halley DJ, Meijers-Heijboer H, Langlois S, Graham JM Jr, Beuten J, Willems PJ, Ledbetter DH, Beaudet AL. The spectrum of mutations in UBE3A causing Angelman syndrome. Hum Mol Genet. 1999 Jan;8(1):129-35. Citation on PubMed
  • Greer PL, Hanayama R, Bloodgood BL, Mardinly AR, Lipton DM, Flavell SW, Kim TK, Griffith EC, Waldon Z, Maehr R, Ploegh HL, Chowdhury S, Worley PF, Steen J, Greenberg ME. The Angelman Syndrome protein Ube3A regulates synapse development by ubiquitinating arc. Cell. 2010 Mar 5;140(5):704-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.01.026. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Lalande M, Calciano MA. Molecular epigenetics of Angelman syndrome. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Apr;64(7-8):947-60. Review. Citation on PubMed
  • Louros SR, Osterweil EK. Perturbed proteostasis in autism spectrum disorders. J Neurochem. 2016 Dec;139(6):1081-1092. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13723. Epub 2016 Aug 4. Review. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Matentzoglu K, Scheffner M. Ubiquitin ligase E6-AP and its role in human disease. Biochem Soc Trans. 2008 Oct;36(Pt 5):797-801. doi: 10.1042/BST0360797. Citation on PubMed
  • Moncla A, Malzac P, Livet MO, Voelckel MA, Mancini J, Delaroziere JC, Philip N, Mattei JF. Angelman syndrome resulting from UBE3A mutations in 14 patients from eight families: clinical manifestations and genetic counselling. J Med Genet. 1999 Jul;36(7):554-60. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Noor A, Dupuis L, Mittal K, Lionel AC, Marshall CR, Scherer SW, Stockley T, Vincent JB, Mendoza-Londono R, Stavropoulos DJ. 15q11.2 Duplication Encompassing Only the UBE3A Gene Is Associated with Developmental Delay and Neuropsychiatric Phenotypes. Hum Mutat. 2015 Jul;36(7):689-93. doi: 10.1002/humu.22800. Citation on PubMed
  • Singhmar P, Kumar A. Angelman syndrome protein UBE3A interacts with primary microcephaly protein ASPM, localizes to centrosomes and regulates chromosome segregation. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20397. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020397. Epub 2011 May 25. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Tan WH, Bacino CA, Skinner SA, Anselm I, Barbieri-Welge R, Bauer-Carlin A, Beaudet AL, Bichell TJ, Gentile JK, Glaze DG, Horowitz LT, Kothare SV, Lee HS, Nespeca MP, Peters SU, Sahoo T, Sarco D, Waisbren SE, Bird LM. Angelman syndrome: Mutations influence features in early childhood. Am J Med Genet A. 2011 Jan;155A(1):81-90. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33775. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Yi JJ, Berrios J, Newbern JM, Snider WD, Philpot BD, Hahn KM, Zylka MJ. An Autism-Linked Mutation Disables Phosphorylation Control of UBE3A. Cell. 2015 Aug 13;162(4):795-807. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.06.045. Epub 2015 Aug 6. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
From Genetics Home Reference

Genetics Home Reference has merged with MedlinePlus. Genetics Home Reference content now can be found in the "Genetics" section of MedlinePlus. Learn more

The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users with questions about a personal health condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional.