Request symbol help
Whenever possible we encourage authors to submit gene symbol and name proposals to the HGNC prior to publication so that we can check that proposed nomenclature is unique and follows our guidelines. All data shared with the HGNC ahead of publication is treated with the strictest confidence. In some cases we may request permission to share data with gene annotators or other nomenclature committees. The specific reasons for such a request will always be communicated to the submitting author (permission may of course be denied).
You are required to enter at least an email address and proposed gene symbol so that we can contact you to discuss this.
All pre-publication information that is not already in the public domain is treated in confidence. Please indicate the status of your gene from the Published/In Press/Submitted/In Preparation/Unpublished drop down menu, this also helps us to determine the urgency of the request, and list any PMID references that relate to your gene of interest. Please note that we will usually request to see unpublished manuscripts.
Proposed Gene Symbol
- Search HGNC, NCBI Gene and Ensembl to check whether the gene already has an approved symbol. Authors should note that the HGNC now aims for symbol stability; naming of novel genes and renaming of genes with placeholder symbols is encouraged, but the need for any other proposed symbol changes will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- Formulate possible combinations of letters for the gene symbol. This should be an acronym or abbreviation of the gene name, and begin with the same letter as the gene name. It should be composed of Latin letters and Arabic numbers, with no punctuation. Consult Guidelines for Human Gene Nomenclature.
- Check that the proposed symbol is not in common use elsewhere for a gene in any species, or widely used in publications or any other contexts. Searches of NCBI Gene and PubMed should help to identify such problems.
- Please supply us with background information to enable us to decide if the proposed symbol is appropriate.
Please specify the locus type, eg. protein coding, pseudogene, long non-coding RNA.
Please enter any other symbols and names by which this gene is known, the NCBI Gene ID and/or Ensembl ID and public GenBank accession IDs in the relevant fields. These are very important in helping us trace as much information as possible about the gene in question.
Please copy and paste your cDNA and/or protein sequences in the boxes provided (fasta format is preferable). If your sequence(s) do not fit in the boxes provided please send them as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A space is provided for any additional information which you think should be considered in deciding on an approved gene symbol e.g. Enzyme ID, OMIM ID, identifiers for characterised orthologs in model organisms, etc. Wherever possible we try to use the same symbols for orthologous genes in vertebrates. It is therefore very useful if the submitters can supply the names and identifiers of closely related genes in other species.
Reserving gene symbols and names prior to publication
Once the HGNC has agreed upon a suitable gene symbol and name, these are reserved in our internal database pending publication in a peer reviewed journal. Such symbols and names are reserved for up to 12 months, or until we are notified of publication. We may extend the reservation window if requested, but we cannot guarantee this. Once the relevant research paper is published in a peer-reviewed journal, researchers should notify the HGNC. At this point the HGNC will release the new symbol and name to genenames.org, along with a link to the relevant publication via PubMed ID. In the vast majority of cases, reserving a symbol with the HGNC will mean that this symbol is approved by the HGNC at a future date. However, if an appropriate alternative symbol and name is published for the same gene by a different group while a symbol is reserved, we may contact the person who requested the reserved symbol to discuss whether they would be willing to support the published symbol in order to reduce confusion in the literature. If researchers are aware of other groups that are working on the same gene, we recommend involving these other groups in early stage nomenclature discussions with the HGNC.