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Nat Genet. 1992 Dec;2(4):301-4.

Meiotic stability and genotype-phenotype correlation of the trinucleotide repeat in X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

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Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6146.


Expansion of the trinucleotide repeat (CAG)n in the first exon of the androgen receptor gene is associated with a rare motor neuron disorder, X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. We have found that expanded (CAG)n alleles undergo alteration in length when transmitted from parent to offspring. Of 45 meioses examined, 12 (27%) demonstrated a change in CAG repeat number. Both expansions and contractions were observed, although their magnitude was small. There was a greater rate of instability in male meiosis than in female meiosis. We also found evidence for a correlation between disease severity and CAG repeat length, but other factors seem to contribute to the phenotypic variability in this disorder.

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