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Brain Res. 2007 Nov 14;1180:1-6. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

Ube3a mRNA and protein expression are not decreased in Mecp2R168X mutant mice.

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Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


Mutations in the transcriptional repressor methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) are responsible for most cases of Rett Syndrome (RS), a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by developmental regression, minimal speech, seizures, postnatal microcephaly and hand stereotypies. Absence of the maternal copy of ubiquitin protein ligase 3A (UBE3A) results in Angelman syndrome, also a severe developmental disorder that shares some clinical features with RS. As MeCP2 regulates gene expression, this has led to the hypothesis that MeCP2 may regulate UBE3A expression; however, there are conflicting reports regarding the expression of Ube3a in MeCP2 null mutant mice. We have generated a novel MeCP2 mutant knock-in mouse with the mutation R168X, one of the most common mutations in patients with RS. These mice show features similar to RS, including hypoactivity, forelimb stereotypies, breathing irregularities, weight changes, hind limb atrophy, and scoliosis. The male mice experience early death. Analysis of Ube3a mRNA and protein levels in the Mecp2(R168X) male mice showed no significant difference in expression compared to their wild type littermates.

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