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Hum Mol Genet. 2000 Oct;9(16):2365-75.

Rett syndrome: a surprising result of mutation in MECP2.

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Department of Human Genetics, Mental Retardation Research Center and the Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


The identification of mutations in the gene encoding methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in Rett syndrome represents a major advance in the field. The current model predicts that MeCP2 represses transcription by binding methylated CpG residues and mediating chromatin remodeling. A physical interaction between MeCP2, histone deacetylases and the transcriptional co-repressor Sin3A has been demonstrated, as well as an association of MeCP2 with the basal transcription apparatus. It is unclear, however, whether MeCP2-mediated chromatin remodeling is necessary for transcriptional repression in vivo. Eight recurrent missense and nonsense mutations account for >65% of the mutations identified in Rett syndrome probands, and as predicted from the sporadic nature of the disorder, most mutations are de novo. The severity of the phenotype is likely to reflect the pattern of X chromosome inactivation in relevant tissues, although the type and position of the mutation may also play a role. Although much is known about the biochemical function of MeCP2, the phenotype of Rett syndrome suggests that it plays an unexplored but critical role in development and maintenance of the nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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