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Am J Hum Genet. 1995 Aug;57(2):351-61.

Fragile X gene instability: anchoring AGGs and linked microsatellites.

Author information

1
Department of Human Genetics, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island 10314, USA.

Abstract

Interspersed AGGs within the FMR1 gene CGG repeat region may anchor the sequence and prevent slippage during replication. In order to detect the AGG position variations, we developed a method employing partial MnlI restriction analysis and analyzed X chromosomes from 187 males, including 133 normal controls (117 with 20-34 and 16 with 35-52 repeats), plus 54 fragile X premutations with 56-180 repeats. Among controls, the interspersed AGG positions were highly polymorphic, with a heterozygosity of 91%. Among the control samples, 1.5% had no AGG positions, 25% had one, 71% had two, and 3% had three. Among the fragile X premutation samples, 63% had no AGG, while 37% had only one AGG. Analysis of premutation samples within fragile X families showed that variation occurred only within the 3' end of the region. Thus, the instability was polar. Controls with > or = 15 pure CGG repeats were associated with the longest alleles of two nearby microsatellites, FRAXAC1 with 20-21 repeats and DXS548 with 202-206 bp and with increased microsatellite heterozygosity. The association of long pure CGG regions, as with fragile X chromosomes, with the longer and more heterozygous microsatellite alleles suggests they may be related mechanistically. Further, our results do not support a recent suggestion that the frequency of fragile X alleles may be increasing. Finally, analysis of a set of nonhuman primate samples showed that long pure CGG tracks are variable in size and are located within the 3' region, which suggests that polar instability within FMR1 is evolutionarily quite old.

PMID:
7668261
PMCID:
PMC1801568
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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