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HGNC (HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee) - Synopsis

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The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) maintains the HUGO Gene Nomenclature. The HGNC is a committee of the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO).

The HGNC approves a gene name and symbol (short-form abbreviation) for each known human gene. The approved symbols are maintained and stored in the HGNC database. Symbols are unique and each gene only has one approved gene symbol which facilitates electronic data retrieval.

The majority of approved symbols represent protein-coding genes, but pseudogenes, non-coding RNAs, phenotypes and genomic features are also represented. The priority of the HGNC is to assign nomenclature to genes submitted by the Human Genome Project.

Individual new symbols may be requested by scientists, journals and databases. Groups of new symbols may be requested by those working on gene families, chromosome segments or whole chromosomes.

Metathesaurus Update Frequency
HUGO is updated annually in the Metathesaurus, as resources permit.

Sites Consulted

  1. HUGO Human Genome Organisation [Internet]. Cambridge, (UK): Human Genome Organisation; c2017. HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee; [cited 2017 Oct 11]. Available from:
  2. HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee [Internet]. Cambridge (UK): HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee, European Bioinformatics Institute. About the HGNC; [updated 2007 Feb 16; cited 2008 Sep 17]. Available from: