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Pediatr Res. 1995 Nov;38(5):629-37.

Complex behavior of simple repeats: the fragile X syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


The fragile X syndrome of mental retardation is one of the most common genetic diseases. The mutation causing this disease was the first of a new class of mutations involving repeat sequences disturbing gene function. Fragile X mutations consist of an expansion of a CGG trinucleotide repeat in the FMR1 gene, which is inactivated as a result of this expansion. The lack of FMR1 protein is believed to be responsible for the mental retardation. The mechanism and the timing of the repeat amplification are still not known. Characterization of the repeat has clarified the genetics of fragile X syndrome, and has given tools to establish the diagnosis and to determine carrier status.

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