What Is the Importance of Chromosome 7?

In terms of the human genome, the chromosome 7 pair represents more than 5 percent of all DNA and is estimated to contain up to 1,000 genes that are responsible for the production of proteins with cells, according to Genetics Home Reference. Researchers believe that genes on chromosome 7 play an important role in cellular division and growth. Chromosome 7 is also important because of the role it plays in many human diseases.

Many types of cancer in humans are associated with abnormalities on chromosome 7, specifically changes in its structure or number of genes, notes MedlinePlus. Chromosome 7 is implicated in leukemia, a cancer of the blood, and lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. Myelodysplastic syndrome is commonly the result of the total or partial loss of one of the copies of chromosome 7. This syndrome involves pathology of blood and bone marrow and is associated with leukemia.

Williams syndrome is caused by the deletion of some of the genetic material of chromosome 7. Williams syndrome results in a distinctive facial appearance, developmental delay, learning disorders and intellectual disability, states MedlinePlus.

Russell-Silver syndrome also involves abnormalities of chromosome 7. This syndrome is characterized by slow fetal and neonatal growth, feeding difficulties, and failure-to-thrive syndrome, according to Genetics Home Reference.