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TRIM gene family

Reviewed September 2008

What are the TRIM genes?

Genes in the TRIM family provide instructions for making proteins that are involved in a variety of cellular functions. The majority of these genes play a role in the cell machinery that breaks down (degrades) unwanted proteins. Damaged, misfolded, and excess proteins are tagged with molecules called ubiquitin. Ubiquitin serves as a signal to move unwanted proteins into specialized cell structures known as proteasomes, where the ubiquitin-tagged proteins are degraded. The TRIM family's protein-degrading function is important for normal cell growth and division (cell proliferation), self-destruction of cells (apoptosis), cell maturity and specialization (differentiation), formation of tumors (oncogenesis), and immune functions. TRIM gene products are active throughout the body from embryonic development to adulthood.

The TRIM genes are also related through their structure. All TRIM genes provide instructions for making proteins that have three specific regions (motifs) in common. These regions are known as RING finger, B-box, and coiled coil motifs. The presence of these three regions gives the TRIM gene family its name, tripartite motif-containing. The three motifs work together to bind (attach) to unwanted proteins and tag them with ubiquitin.

Most of the TRIM genes are named numerically (such as TRIM10 and TRIM67). A few tripartite motif-containing genes that have known disease-causing mutations are named after the condition they cause (for example, mutations in the MEFV gene cause familial Mediterranean fever). Genes in the TRIM family can be found on most human chromosomes.

Which genes are included in the TRIM gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides a list of genes in the TRIM familyThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference..

Genetics Home Reference provides additional information about these members of the TRIM gene family: MEFV and MID1.

What conditions are related to genes in the TRIM gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the TRIM gene family:

Where can I find additional information about the TRIM gene family?

You may find the following resources about the TRIM gene family helpful.

Where can I find general information about genes and gene families?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

What glossary definitions help with understanding the TRIM (tripartite motif-containing) gene family?

apoptosis ; BBB ; cell ; cell proliferation ; chromosome ; differentiation ; disease-causing mutation ; embryonic ; familial ; fever ; gene ; gene product ; ligase ; molecule ; motif ; mutation ; proliferation ; proteasome ; protein ; syndrome ; tumor ; ubiquitin

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

References (6 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: September 2008
Published: January 30, 2009