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Am J Hum Genet. 1992 Aug;51(2):299-306.

A microdeletion of less than 250 kb, including the proximal part of the FMR-I gene and the fragile-X site, in a male with the clinical phenotype of fragile-X syndrome.

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Abteilung Klinische Genetik, Universität Ulm, Germany.


A gene designated "FMR-1" has been isolated at the fragile-X locus. One exon of this gene is carried on a 5.1-kb EcoRI fragment that exhibits length variation in fragile-X patients because of amplification of or insertion into a CGG-repeat sequence. This repeat probably represents the fragile site. The EcoRI fragment also includes an HTF island that is hypermethylated in fragile-X patients showing absence of FMR-1 mRNA. In this paper, we present further evidence that the FMR-1 gene is involved in the clinical manifestation of the fragile-X syndrome and also in the expression of the cellular phenotype. A deletion including the HTF island and exons of the FMR-1 gene was detected in a fragile X-negative mentally retarded male who presented the clinical phenotype of the fragile-X syndrome. The deletion involves less than 250 kb of genomic DNA, including DXS548 and at least five exons of the FMR-1 gene. These data support the hypothesis that loss of function of the FMR-1 gene leads to the clinical phenotype of the fragile-X syndrome. In the fragile-X syndrome, there are pathogenetic mechanisms other than amplification of the CGG repeat that do have the same phenotypic consequences.

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