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Table 1 The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) checklist for deciding on a new human gene symbol

From: Update on human genome completion and annotations: Gene nomenclature

1 Establish that the phenotype is genetic (ie inherited in a Mendelian fashion) or is a cloned gene sequence.
2 Search the LocusLink, Genew and mouse genome databases (MGD) to ensure that the entry is not already there.
3 Formulate possible combinations of letters for the symbol (check guidelines at URL http://www.gene.ucl.ac.uk/nomenclature/guidelines.html).
4 Search LocusLink, Genew and MGD to see which combinations of letters/numbers are available.
5 Check ordered lists of human and mouse symbols to ensure that your proposed new symbol will not interrupt an existing 'family' of gene symbols.
6 Be certain that your proposed new symbol is not in common use elsewhere (searches of PubMed should help to identify such problems, abbreviations).
7 Check similar entries in LocusLink to ensure that parallel construction is maintained.
8 Submit the proposed gene symbol to the HGNC for confirmation (and entry into LocusLink, if approved); a form is available on Genew.
  1. See URL http://www.gene.ucl.ac.uk/nomenclature/information/check.shtml.