Humans normally have 46 chromosomes in each cell, divided into 23 pairs. Two copies of chromosome 11, one copy inherited from each parent, form one of the pairs. Chromosome 11 spans about 134 million DNA building blocks (base pairs) and represents between 4 percent and 4.5 percent of the total DNA in cells.
Identifying genes on each chromosome is an active area of genetic research. Because researchers use different approaches to predict the number of genes on each chromosome, the estimated number of genes varies. Chromosome 11 likely contains about 1,500 genes. More than 150 of these genes provide instructions for making olfactory receptors, which are proteins that are used to detect different smells.
Genes on chromosome 11 are among the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 total genes in the human genome.
Genetics researchers have developed a customized gene chip to rapidly scan tumor samples for specific DNA changes that offer clues to prognosis in cases of neuroblastoma, a common form of children's cancer.
When genes are deleted on a particular section of chromosome 11, the result is an aggressive form of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. A new study suggests that detecting this genetic deletion during the initial evaluation of children with neuroblastoma may indicate to physicians that they should recommend a more aggressive regimen of chemotherapy to fight the cancer.
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified an enzyme that helps trigger the development of leukemia, a cancer of blood cells.
UCLA scientists have devised a novel way to repair one of the genetic mutations that causes ataxia-telangiectasia, (A-T), a life-shortening disorder that devastates the neurological and immune systems of one in 40,000 young children.