Quick Guide to Gene Nomenclature
The complete guidelines,for gene, variant, and allele nomenclature can be found at http://rgd.mcw.edu/nomen_rules.html
A gene symbol should:
· be unique within the species and should not match a symbol in another species that is not a homolog,
· use the same symbol whenever possible for orthologs among human, mouse and rat,
· be short, normally 3-5 characters, and not more than 10 characters,
· use only Roman letters and Arabic numbers,
· begin with an uppercase letter (not a number), followed by all lowercase letters / numbers (see exception below),
· not include tissue specificity or molecular weight designations,
· not include punctuation except for hyphens to separate related sequence (rs) and pseudogene (ps) from the root symbol,
· ideally have the same initial letter as the initial letter of its gene name,
· use a common stem or root symbol when belonging to a gene family; family member numbers or subunit designations should be placed at the end of the gene symbol,
· be italicized in published articles although, because they may be difficult to read, depending on the browser, gene symbols are frequently not italicized when posted to a web page.
A gene name should:
· be specific and brief, conveying the character or function of the gene,
· begin with a lowercase letter, unless it is a person’s name or is a typically capitalized word,
· not contain punctuation, except where necessary to separate the main part of the name from modifiers,
· include the name of the species from which the ortholog/homolog name was derived at the end of the name in parentheses only when that name is not in common usage,
· not include the word rat,
· follow the conventions of the established gene family if it is a recognizable member of that family by sequence comparison, structure (motifs/domains), and/or function,
· not contain potentially misleading information that may be experiment or assay specific, such as “kidney-specific” or “59 kDa”.
A splice variant from a single locus should:
· be differentiated by the addition of an underscore v and a serial number (_v#) to the symbol and the addition of a comma “variant” and serial number to the name.