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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2012 Oct;22(5):887-94. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.03.010. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Fragile X syndrome: mechanistic insights and therapeutic avenues regarding the role of potassium channels.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Departments of Physiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a common form of mental disability and one of the known causes of autism. The mutation responsible for FXS is a large expansion of the trinucleotide CGG repeats that leads to DNA methylation of the fragile X mental retardation gene 1 (FMR1) and transcriptional silencing, resulting in the absence of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an mRNA binding protein. Although it is widely known that FMRP is critical for metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent long-term depression (LTD), which has provided a general theme for developing pharmacological drugs for FXS, specific downstream targets of FMRP may also be of therapeutic value. Since alterations in potassium channel expression level or activity could underlie neuronal network defects in FXS, here we describe recent findings on how these channels might be altered in mouse models of FXS and the possible therapeutic avenues for treating FXS.

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