DDC gene mutation

DDC gene mutation

The DDC gene has the important job of converting 5-HTP or 5-Hydroxytryptophan, which is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Serotonin is extremely important when it comes to mental health problems.  See high and low serotonin symptoms:

serotonin symptoms

Serotonin imbalance symptoms are common with bad DDC gene mutations, these include:

Low serotonin:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety / Social anxiety
  • Carbohydrate craving
  • Constipation – serotonin is required for control of gut motility as it activates smooth muscle activity.
  • Depression
  • Impulsive tendencies
  • Insomnia
  • Low pain tolerance
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Poor dream recall
  • Social phobia


High serotonin:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Confusion
  • Extreme agitation
  • GI distress/nausea
  • Muscle twitching

*Mental health symptoms in bold.

Serotonin imbalance symptoms and behaviors

DDC symptoms from serotonin

DDC gene mutations can make it harder for you to convert your 5-HTP to make serotonin, when this happens it doesn’t just affect serotonin levels, melatonin which is your sleep hormone is also made from serotonin, this means other gene mutations such as AANAT and or ASMT may make it much harder for you to get good sleep.

When you don’t get good sleep, this can lead to stress and stress can lead to many health problems.

Here’s how DDC gene mutations might look when homozygous (double copies of the mutations):

DDC gene mutations

Further, DDC and serotonin problems work closely with your MAO genes, so symptoms can be the same for both genes.