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Chromosome 3 and the Human Body

written by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 12/4/2008

Human chromosome 3 is responsible for a great deal of medical information in the human body. Find out how chromosome 3 affects our health and what genes are carried by chromosome number 3.

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    In previous articles in this series, you've learned about chromsome 1 and chromosome 2 and their genetic characteristics. Part three of this series focuses on chromosome 3 and how it shapes some of the medical information contained in the human body. You'll learn about the basic characteristics of chromsome 3, some of the genes it contains, and some of the diseases related to genes found on chromosome 3. This information will help you to better understand how genes contribute to our health and medical condition.

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    Chromosome 3 Basic Characteristics

    Chromosome 3 has nearly 200 million base pairs and is responsible for approximately six percent of the total DNA located in human cells. Scientists have not been able to definitively answer the question of how many genes are located on each chromosome. The estimated number of genes located on chromosome 3 is in the range of 1,100 genes to 1,500 genes.

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    Chromosome 3 Genes

    The genes located on chromosome 3 are responsible for regulating a wide range of bodily functions and may also contribute to the development of specific medical conditions. The BTD gene is responsible for regulating how biotinidase, an enzyme that controls the use of biotin, is produced and used. PDCD10 is the gene that is responsible for programmed cell death. Other genes located on chromosome 3 include PTHR1, RAB7, SOX2, TMIE, and VHL.

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    Chromosome 3 Diseases

    Mutations of any of the genes contained in a human's chromosomes can result in the development of medical conditions ranging from mild to severe in nature. There are a number of diseases related to mutations of the genes found on chromosome 3. These diseases include deafness, diabetes, autism, lymphomas, night blindness, ovarian cancer, and sucrose intolerance.

    Now that you're familiar with the first three human chromosomes and their relation to the field of medical science, it's time to move on to chromosome 4. The next article in this series will help you to learn about the genes located on chromosome 4 and how they may contribute to the development of specific medical conditions.

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    Chromosome 3 Reference Materials

    National Library of Medicine. Genetics Home Reference. "Chromosome 3." Retrieved Decemebr 4, 2008 from National Library of Medicine Genetics Home Reference.

    U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. HUman Chromosome Launchpad. "Human Chromosome 3." Retrieved December 4, 2008 from U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.