Molecular Characteristics for Families

The DCC gene is required by the body to produce DCC protein, which acts as a receptor (a protein which binds to a specific molecule) on developing brain cells. In response to a molecular called Netrin-1, DCC causes the cells to cross the middle of the body so they can connect the left and right sides of the brain.

Disease-causing, DNA changes in a single copy of the DCC gene may cause mirror movements with or without agenesis (absence) of the corpus callosum. While disease causing, DNA changes in both copies of the DCC gene lead to absence of all crossing nerve fibers, causing a “split brain”, where the left and right sides of the brain are not connected to each other.