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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Sep 30;100(20):11553-8. Epub 2003 Sep 3.

A candidate gene for developmental dyslexia encodes a nuclear tetratricopeptide repeat domain protein dynamically regulated in brain.

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Department of Medical Genetics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.


Approximately 3-10% of people have specific difficulties in reading, despite adequate intelligence, education, and social environment. We report here the characterization of a gene, DYX1C1 near the DYX1 locus in chromosome 15q21, that is disrupted by a translocation t(2;15)(q11;q21) segregating coincidentally with dyslexia. Two sequence changes in DYX1C1, one involving the translation initiation sequence and an Elk-1 transcription factor binding site (-3G --> A) and a codon (1249G --> T), introducing a premature stop codon and truncating the predicted protein by 4 aa, associate alone and in combination with dyslexia. DYX1C1 encodes a 420-aa protein with three tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains, thought to be protein interaction modules, but otherwise with no homology to known proteins. The mouse Dyx1c1 protein is 78% identical to the human protein, and the nonhuman primates differ at 0.5-1.4% of residues. DYX1C1 is expressed in several tissues, including the brain, and the protein resides in the nucleus. In human brain, DYX1C1 protein localizes to a fraction of cortical neurons and white matter glial cells. We conclude that DYX1C1 should be regarded as a candidate gene for developmental dyslexia. Detailed study of its function may open a path to understanding a complex process of development and maturation of the human brain.

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