The HGNC is
responsible for approving unique symbols and names for human loci, including protein
coding genes, ncRNA genes and pseudogenes, to allow unambiguous scientific communication.
For each known human gene, the HGNC approves a gene name and symbol (short-form abbreviation).
All approved symbols are stored in the HGNC database, www.genenames.org, a curated online repository of HGNC-approved gene
nomenclature, gene groups and associated resources including links to genomic, proteomic,
and phenotypic information. Each symbol is unique and we ensure that each gene is only
given one approved gene symbol. It is necessary to provide a unique symbol for each gene
so that we and others can talk about them, and this also facilitates electronic data
retrieval from publications and databases. In preference, each symbol maintains
parallel construction in different members of a gene family and can also be
used in other species, especially other vertebrates including mouse.
The raw data can be explored interactively with the Table Browser, or the Data Integrator. For computational analysis, genome annotations are stored in
a bigBigFile file that can be downloaded from the
server. Regional or genome-wide annotations can be converted from binary data to human readable
text using our command line utility bigBedToBed which can be compiled from source code or
downloaded as a precompiled binary for your system. Files and instructions can be found in the
The utility can be used to obtain features within a given range, for example:
bigBedToBed -chrom=chr6 -start=0 -end=1000000 http://hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu/gbdb/hg38/hgnc/hgnc.bb stdout
Please refer to our Data Access FAQ
for more information or our mailing list for archived user questions.
HGNC Database, HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC), European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, United Kingdom www.genenames.org.
Tweedie S, Braschi B, Gray KA, Jones TEM, Seal RL, Yates B, Bruford EA. Genenames.org: the HGNC and VGNC resources in 2021. Nucleic Acids Res. PMID: 33152070 PMCID: PMC7779007 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkaa980