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RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



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Unc-13 homolog A (C. elegans) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the UNC13A gene.[1]


This gene encodes a member of the UNC13 family.[1] UNC13A plays a role in vesicle maturation during exocytosis as a target of the diacylglycerol second messenger pathway. It is involved in neurotransmitter release by acting in synaptic vesicle priming prior to vesicle fusion and participates in the activity-dependent refilling of readily releasable vesicle pool. In Drosophila melanogaster, the protein has been shown to define the vesicle release site by regulating the coupling distance between synaptic vesicles and calcium channels in cooperation with another isoform, UNC13B.[2] It is particularly important in most glutamatergic-mediated synapses but not GABA-mediated synapses. It plays a role in dendrite formation by melanocytes and in secretory granule priming in insulin secretion.[3]

Protein structure

Several conserved domains have been found in UNC13A. These conserved domains include three C2 domains. One C2 domain is centrally located, another is at the carboxyl end, and there is a third. In addition, there is one C1 domain, as well as Munc13 homology domains 1 (MHD1) and 2 (MHD2).[3][4]

Subcellular location

UNC13A is localized to the active zone of presynaptic density. It is translocated to the plasma membrane in response to phorbol ester binding.[3]


UNC13A has been shown to interact with:

Clinical significance

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in this gene may be associated with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.[5][6][7][8] This single nucleotide polymorphism has been discovered on chromosome 19. This variation of the single nucleotide involving UNC13A has also been implicated in frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Pathology involving TDP-43 is a result of the single nucleotide polymorphisms in both ALS and FTD.[9] This gene has also been associated with Alzheimer's Disease (AD).[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Entrez Gene: Unc-13 homolog A (C. elegant)".
  2. Böhme MA, Beis C, Reddy-Alla S, Reynolds E, Mampell MM, Grasskamp AT, Lützkendorf J, Bergeron DD, Driller JH, Babikir H, Göttfert F, Robinson IM, O'Kane CJ, Hell SW, Wahl MC, Stelzl U, Loll B, Walter AM, Sigrist SJ (October 2016). "Active zone scaffolds differentially accumulate Unc13 isoforms to tune Ca(2+) channel-vesicle coupling". Nature Neuroscience. 19 (10): 1311–20. doi:10.1038/nn.4364. PMID 27526206.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "UNC13A - Protein unc-13 homolog A - Homo sapiens (Human) - UNC13A gene & protein". www.uniprot.org.
  4. "NCBI Conserved Domain Search". www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  5. van Es MA, Veldink JH, Saris CG, Blauw HM, van Vught PW, Birve A, et al. (October 2009). "Genome-wide association study identifies 19p13.3 (UNC13A) and 9p21.2 as susceptibility loci for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis". Nature Genetics. 41 (10): 1083–7. doi:10.1038/ng.442. PMID 19734901.
  6. Bosco DA, Landers JE (December 2010). "Genetic determinants of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as therapeutic targets". CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. 9 (6): 779–90. doi:10.2174/187152710793237494. PMID 20942785.
  7. Su XW, Broach JR, Connor JR, Gerhard GS, Simmons Z (June 2014). "Genetic heterogeneity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: implications for clinical practice and research". Muscle & Nerve. 49 (6): 786–803. doi:10.1002/mus.24198. PMID 24488689.
  8. Finsterer J, Burgunder JM (February 2014). "Recent progress in the genetics of motor neuron disease". European Journal of Medical Genetics. 57 (2–3): 103–12. doi:10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.01.002. PMID 24503148.
  9. Diekstra FP, Van Deerlin VM, van Swieten JC, Al-Chalabi A, Ludolph AC, Weishaupt JH, et al. (July 2014). "C9orf72 and UNC13A are shared risk loci for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia: a genome-wide meta-analysis". Annals of Neurology. 76 (1): 120–33. doi:10.1002/ana.24198. PMC 4137231. PMID 24931836.
  10. Hartlage-Rübsamen M, Waniek A, Roßner S (February 2013). "Munc13 genotype regulates secretory amyloid precursor protein processing via postsynaptic glutamate receptors". International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. 31 (1): 36–45. doi:10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2012.10.001. PMID 23070049.

Further reading

This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.