Journal Article

Understanding the molecular basis of fragile X syndrome

Peng Jin and Stephen T. Warren

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 9, issue 6, pages 901-908
Published in print April 2000 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online April 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/9.6.901
Understanding the molecular basis of fragile X syndrome

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Fragile X syndrome, a common form of inherited mental retardation, is mainly caused by massive expansion of CGG triplet repeats located in the 5′-untranslated region of the fragile X mental retardation-1 (FMR1) gene. In patients with fragile X syndrome, the expanded CGG triplet repeats are hypermethylated and the expression of the FMR1 gene is repressed, which leads to the absence of FMR1 protein (FMRP) and subsequent mental retardation. FMRP is an RNA-binding protein that shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm. This protein has been implicated in protein translation as it is found associated with polyribosomes and the rough endoplasmic reticulum. We discuss here the recent progress made towards understanding the molecular mechanism of CGG repeat expansion and physiological function(s) of FMRP. These studies will not only help to illuminate the molecular basis of the general class of human diseases with trinucleotide repeat expansion but also provide an avenue to understand aspects of human cognition and intelligence.

Journal Article.  7452 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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