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J Mol Diagn. 2015 Sep;17(5):463-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2015.04.006. Epub 2015 Jul 7.

Fragile X Syndrome: Scientific Background and Screening Technologies.

Author information

1
Molecular Risk Assessment Laboratory, Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
2
Molecular Risk Assessment Laboratory, Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address: pwm2@cdc.gov.

Abstract

Fragile X is the most common inherited cause of mental retardation with a prevalence of 1 in 4000 for males and 1 in 5000 to 8000 for females. The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics has recommended diagnostic testing for fragile X in symptomatic persons, women with ovarian dysfunction, and persons with tremor/ataxia syndrome. Although medical and scientific professionals do not currently recommend screening nonsymptomatic populations, improvements in current treatment approaches and ongoing clinical trials have generated growing interest in screening for fragile X. Here, we briefly review the relevant molecular basis of fragile X and fragile X testing and compare three different molecular technologies available for fragile X screening in both males and females. These technologic approaches include destabilizing the CGG-repeat region with betaine and using chimeric CGG-targeted PCR primers, using heat pulses to destabilize C-G bonds in the PCR extension step, and using melting curve analysis to differentiate expanded CGG repeats from normals. The first two-step method performed with high sensitivity and specificity. The second method provided agarose gel images that allow identification of males with expanded CGG repeats and females with expanded CGG-repeat bands which are sometimes faint. The third melting curve analysis method would require controls in each run to correct for shifting optimal cutoff values.

PMID:
26162330
PMCID:
PMC4620545
DOI:
10.1016/j.jmoldx.2015.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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