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Am J Med Genet. 1999 May 28;84(3):245-9.

Postmortem examination of two fragile X brothers with an FMR1 full mutation.

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Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Belgium.


Large expansions of the CGG repeat in the 5' untranslated region of the FMR1 gene are found in patients with the fragile X syndrome. Amplified CGG repeats in FMR1 are unstable and show intergenerational increase from mother to offspring. The exact timing of repeat amplification, however, is unknown. We have compared the extent of CGG expansion in various tissues of this deceased fragile X patient, and found only limited variation in repeat expansion. The repeat was fully methylated in all tissues examined. Therefore, no evidence for extensive mitotic expansion of the CGG repeat during fetal or postnatal life of a fragile X patient was found, in contrast to dynamic mutations caused by CAG/CTG repeat expansion. Extensive pathological examination of this patient and his affected brother revealed no evidence for specific abnormalities relevant to fragile X syndrome; cerebellar hypoplasia, which has been reported in this disorder, was not evident in either patient.

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