The YWHAE gene provides instructions for making the 14-3-3 epsilon (ε) protein, which is part of the large 14-3-3 protein family. Proteins in this family attach (bind) to other proteins involved in cell signaling. 14-3-3 proteins either turn on (activate) or turn off (inactivate) these other proteins. The 14-3-3ε protein helps to regulate a variety of processes including cell division and sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels.
The 14-3-3ε protein is active in tissues throughout the body, although its function is sometimes unclear. In the brain, this protein is involved in directing the movement of nerve cells (neuronal migration) by binding to other proteins involved in this process. It is thought that the 14-3-3ε protein is critical for proper neuronal migration and normal brain development.
Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes
The characteristic signs and symptoms of Miller-Dieker syndrome are caused by a deletion of genetic material near the end of the short (p) arm of chromosome 17. The chromosomal region that is typically deleted contains multiple genes, including the YWHAE gene. As a result of the deletion, people with this condition have only one copy of the YWHAE gene in each cell instead of the usual two copies.
A deletion of one copy of the YWHAE gene in each cell reduces the amount of 14-3-3ε protein by about half. A shortage of 14-3-3ε protein increases the severity of lissencephaly (a problem with brain development in which the surface of the brain is abnormally smooth) in people with Miller-Dieker syndrome.More About This Health Condition
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A deletion that only involves the YWHAE gene can also cause health problems. People with a YWHAE gene deletion are missing one copy of the gene in each cell, which reduces the amount of 14-3-3ε protein that is produced by about half. A deficiency (shortage) of this protein is thought to cause short stature; intellectual disability; and distinctive facial features including a prominent forehead, wide nasal bridge, and small jaw. People with a YWHAE gene deletion do not have lissencephaly but tend to have other brain abnormalities.
Other Names for This Gene
- 14-3-3 epsilon
- mitochondrial import stimulation factor L subunit
- protein kinase C inhibitor protein-1
- tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein, epsilon
- tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein, epsilon polypeptide
- tyrosine 3/tryptophan 5 -monooxygenase activation protein, epsilon polypeptide
Additional Information & Resources
Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry
Scientific Articles on PubMed
Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM
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- Mignon-Ravix C, Cacciagli P, El-Waly B, Moncla A, Milh M, Girard N, Chabrol B, Philip N, Villard L. Deletion of YWHAE in a patient with periventricular heterotopias and pronounced corpus callosum hypoplasia. J Med Genet. 2010 Feb;47(2):132-6. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2009.069112. Epub 2009 Jul 26. Citation on PubMed
- Nagamani SC, Zhang F, Shchelochkov OA, Bi W, Ou Z, Scaglia F, Probst FJ, Shinawi M, Eng C, Hunter JV, Sparagana S, Lagoe E, Fong CT, Pearson M, Doco-Fenzy M, Landais E, Mozelle M, Chinault AC, Patel A, Bacino CA, Sahoo T, Kang SH, Cheung SW, Lupski JR, Stankiewicz P. Microdeletions including YWHAE in the Miller-Dieker syndrome region on chromosome 17p13.3 result in facial dysmorphisms, growth restriction, and cognitive impairment. J Med Genet. 2009 Dec;46(12):825-33. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2009.067637. Epub 2009 Jul 6. Citation on PubMed
- Ogihara T, Isobe T, Ichimura T, Taoka M, Funaki M, Sakoda H, Onishi Y, Inukai K, Anai M, Fukushima Y, Kikuchi M, Yazaki Y, Oka Y, Asano T. 14-3-3 protein binds to insulin receptor substrate-1, one of the binding sites of which is in the phosphotyrosine binding domain. J Biol Chem. 1997 Oct 3;272(40):25267-74. Citation on PubMed
- Tak H, Jang E, Kim SB, Park J, Suk J, Yoon YS, Ahn JK, Lee JH, Joe CO. 14-3-3epsilon inhibits MK5-mediated cell migration by disrupting F-actin polymerization. Cell Signal. 2007 Nov;19(11):2379-87. Epub 2007 Jul 31. Citation on PubMed
- Toyo-oka K, Shionoya A, Gambello MJ, Cardoso C, Leventer R, Ward HL, Ayala R, Tsai LH, Dobyns W, Ledbetter D, Hirotsune S, Wynshaw-Boris A. 14-3-3epsilon is important for neuronal migration by binding to NUDEL: a molecular explanation for Miller-Dieker syndrome. Nat Genet. 2003 Jul;34(3):274-85. Citation on PubMed