MCM6 regulates the LCT gene, which encodes for Lactase, or, more precisely, lactase-phlorizin hydrolase (LPH), an enzyme that breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose to be metabolized. 

In this sense, the intestinal epithelial cells are the principal producers of Lactase. Whether or not this enzyme is produced into adulthood is strongly determined by MCM6/LCT gene variants.

Lactase is encoded by the LCT gene, which is dominantly expressed in the small intestine. While lactase activity is high during infancy, activity diminishes in the following years and adulthood. 

However, in some people, lactase activity is retained into adulthood, and lactose can continue to be digested in individuals carrying a heritable trait known as lactase persistence (LP). In this case, people can break down, digest, and absorb high amounts of lactose in cow’s milk and other dairy products. 

One SNP (SNPid rs4988235) confers LP, where the dominant A allele is associated with LP and the G allele with lactase non-persistence (LNP). Unlike LP individuals, LNP persons have low lactase levels, may become lactose intolerant, and may experience gastrointestinal discomfort following lactose consumption.  

Lactose intolerance is characterized by unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain, after consuming lactose. The cause of these symptoms is the inability to digest and hydrolyze lactose in the small intestine, which leads to the accumulation of lactose in the colon, drawing water and electrolytes into the colon’s lumen and causing diarrhea. 

This gene has been chosen by our experts to be analyzed in several panels of our product portfolio: