Summary list of human genes

Genes contain nucleotides strands containing instructions on how to generate protein or RNA molecules. They make up the elementary units of heredity and are passed down from parents to children. The human genome is massive, and contains over 30,000 protein-coding genes, as well as thousands more pseudogenes and non-coding RNAs. In humans, these genes and accompanying molecules are coiled tightly inside 23 pairs of structures called chromosomes. Thanks to the mapping of the human genome by bodies such as the Human Genome Project, we now understand the size, variant, function and distribution of the genes inside these chromosomes. Appended below is the summary of each of the chromosomes.

Chromosome 1

Protein-coding genes: 1,961 to 2,093
Non-coding RNA genes: 707 to 1,924
Pseudogenes: 1,113 to 1,426

Contains 249 million nucleotide base pairs, which amounts to 8% of the total DNA found in the human body. Around 890 diseases such as Alzheimer's, glaucoma and hearing loss have been linked to genetic disorders found in chromosome 1.

Chromosome 2

Protein-coding genes: 1,194 to 1,292
Non-coding RNA genes: 450 to 1,598
Pseudogenes: 931 to 1,207


The genes in chromosome 2 span 242 million nucleotide base pairs, which also amounts to about 8% of the human DNA. Gene disorders here are linked to diseases such as autism, Ehlers–Danlos syndrome and variants of dementia.

Chromosome 3

Protein-coding genes: 1,024 to 1,085
Non-coding RNA genes: 483 to 1,158
Pseudogenes: 761 to 902

The nucleotides in chromosome 3 accounts for 6.5% of our DNA, with over 200 million base pairs. Contains encoding instructions for Acylamino-acid-releasing enzyme, 5-azacytidine-induced protein 2 and protein C3orf23.

Chromosome 4

Protein-coding genes: 727 to 769
Non-coding RNA genes: 277 to 993
Pseudogenes: 633 to 819

Measuring around 191 megabases in length, chromosome 4 contains 186 million base pairs, or 6% of our DNA. Around 27.9% of the nucleotide sequences inside exhibit no protein encoding.

Chromosome 5

Protein-coding genes: 790 to 886
Non-coding RNA genes: 355 to 1,207
Pseudogenes: 574 to 785

At 181 million base pairs, chromosome 5 is the fifth largest human chromosome, accounting for 6% of the total. However, it also has one of the lowest gene densities among the 23 pairs. The primary growth genes for cell divisions, which makes them vulnerable to cancers.

Chromosome 6

Protein-coding genes: 996 to 1,111
Non-coding RNA genes: 422 to 1,188
Pseudogenes: 736 to 911

Accounting between 5.5% and 6% of our DNA, chromosome 6 is the site of the Major Histocompatibility Complex, which is the critical for the body’s adaptive immune system.

Chromosome 7

Protein-coding genes: 862 to 984
Non-coding RNA genes: 245 to 973
Pseudogenes: 703 to 933

Accounts for up to 5.5% of our nucleotide base pairs, chromosome 7 has encoded instructions for the manufacturing of proteins such as Poliovirus and RNF216, which are responsible for viral RNA replication.

Chromosome 8

Protein-coding genes: 646 to 719
Non-coding RNA genes: 242 to 1,052
Pseudogenes: 539 to 682

Despite containing only up to 5.0% of the body’s DNA, chromosome 8 is quite important as over 8% of its genes are specialists in brain development.

Chromosome 9

Protein-coding genes: 739 to 822
Non-coding RNA genes: 246 to 830
Pseudogenes: 590 to 738

Chromosome 9 accounts for between 4% and 4.5% of our DNA cells. Produces many zinc based proteins, such as ZBTB43 and ZNF79.

Chromosome 10

Protein-coding genes: 706 to 754
Non-coding RNA genes: 244 to 881
Pseudogenes: 568 to 654

Chromosome 10, which makes up almost 4.5% of our DNA, is almost identical to chromosome 10 found in gorilla, orangutan and chimps. It is also not too different from chromosome 9 found in baboons and macaques.

Chromosome 11

Protein-coding genes: 1,224 to 1,327
Non-coding RNA genes: 271 to 1,060
Pseudogenes: 666 to 839

Chromosome 11, which contains a little over 4% of our building blocks, is incredibly critical to our olfactory system as 40% of the 856 olfactory receptor genes in our body are clustered here.

Chromosome 12

Protein-coding genes: 988 to 1,036
Non-coding RNA genes: 318 to 1,202
Pseudogenes: 545 to 693

One of the most interesting diseases caused by genetic disorders in chromosome 12 is stuttering or stammering. It contains 133 million base pairs of nucleotides, or over 4% of the total.

Chromosome 13

Protein-coding genes: 308 to 343
Non-coding RNA genes: 323 to 622
Pseudogenes: 373 to 481

This acrocentric chromosome measures 95 megabases long, and accounts for 3.5% of the human DNA. Responsible for overly large nose tip, nasal bridge and ear lobes.

Chromosome 14

Protein-coding genes: 583 to 820
Non-coding RNA genes: 324 to 856
Pseudogenes: 513 to 598

Measuring 82 megabases, chromosome 13 accounts for up to 3.5% of the human genome. Genes here can impact the space between eyes and thickness of the lower lip. In other words, chromosome 14 usually determines how attractive a person can be.

Chromosome 15

Protein-coding genes: 559 to 629
Non-coding RNA genes: 328 to 992
Pseudogenes: 433 to 594

Chromosome 13, with 3% of the body’s mapped human genome, is usually blamed for childhood obesity and delay in speech development.

Chromosome 16

Protein-coding genes: 795 to 912
Non-coding RNA genes: 251 to 1,046
Pseudogenes: 365 to 502

Measuring 90 megabases in length, Chromosome 16 has exceptionally high gene density, particularly relating to genetic diseases in humans, which numbers about 150 out of the 90 million nucleotide sequences.

Chromosome 17

Protein-coding genes: 1,124 to 1,199
Non-coding RNA genes: 325 to 1,199
Pseudogenes: 458 to 566

The 83 million base pairs in chromosome 17 (almost 3%) plays a vital role in the development of physiological balance and generation of internal organs.

Chromosome 18

Protein-coding genes: 261 to 285
Non-coding RNA genes: 138 to 608
Pseudogenes: 241 to 204

Up to 50 of the genes in chromosome 18 are involved in birth defects, so it is not a particularly popular chromosome. Measures about 78 megabases in length and contains around 2.7% of our genetic library.

Chromosome 19

Protein-coding genes: 1,357 to 1,469
Non-coding RNA genes: 299 to 894
Pseudogenes: 413 to 528

This small chromosome (less than 2.5%), measuring only 19 by 59 megabases in size, is pretty low key. Its work is centred around internal organ development.

Chromosome 20

Protein-coding genes: 516 to 555
Non-coding RNA genes: 191 to 594
Pseudogenes: 247 to 333

99.4% of the body’s euchromatic DNA is located in chromosome 20. Fully mapped in 2001, this chromosome of 63 million nucleotides is known for its injurious effects involving heart diseases.

Chromosome 21

Protein-coding genes: 215 to 256
Non-coding RNA genes: 165 to 404
Pseudogenes: 180 to 207

Accounting for just one and a half percent of the human genome, chromosome 21 is infamous for its role in Down syndrome.

Chromosome 22

Protein-coding genes: 417 to 496
Non-coding RNA genes: 148 to 515
Pseudogenes: 288 to 379

The second smallest of the lot, the 49 million base pair (1.5%) chromosome 22 has the distinction of being the first even chromosome to be completely sequenced (1999).

Chromosome X

Protein-coding genes: 804 to 874
Non-coding RNA genes: 260 to 639
Pseudogenes: 606 to 879

Despite its massive size of 155 megabases, chromosome X only accounts for 5% of the human genome. It is one of the only two allosome chromosomes (gender-determining chromosomes) in the human body.

Chromosome Y

Protein-coding genes: 45 to 73
Non-coding RNA genes: 55 to 122
Pseudogenes: 381 to 400

This sex chromosome (allosome) is only present in males. Comparatively smaller than Chromosome X, measuring at only 57 megabases in length and containing less than 1.5% of the human genome.