ARX, a novel Prd-class-homeobox gene highly expressed in the telencephalon, is mutated in X-linked mental retardation

Institut Cochin - CHU Cochin Port-Royal, 75014 Paris, France.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.39). 05/2002; 11(8):981-91.
Source: PubMed


Investigation of a critical region for an X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) locus led us to identify a novel Aristaless related homeobox gene (ARX ). Inherited and de novo ARX mutations, including missense mutations and in frame duplications/insertions leading to expansions of polyalanine tracts in ARX, were found in nine familial and one sporadic case of MR. In contrast to other genes involved in XLMR, ARX expression is specific to the telencephalon and ventral thalamus. Notably there is an absence of expression in the cerebellum throughout development and also in adult. The absence of detectable brain malformations in patients suggests that ARX may have an essential role, in mature neurons, required for the development of cognitive abilities.

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Available from: Gaëlle Friocourt, Jan 14, 2014
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    • "In the majority of these disorders the polyalanine tracts occur in genes encoding transcription factors. The length of the polyalanine tract is generally in the order of 10A–20A and typical expansions range from five to fourteen alanines but expansions by two alanine residues have been reported to be sufficient to cause disease [25], [26]. In addition to tetralogy of Fallot this patient had an absent thyroid gland (Table 2). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Rare variants in certain transcription factors involved in cardiac development cause Mendelian forms of congenital heart disease. The purpose of this study was to systematically assess the frequency of rare transcription factor variants in sporadic patients with the cardiac outflow tract malformation tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). Methods and Results We sequenced the coding, 5′UTR, and 3′UTR regions of twelve transcription factor genes implicated in cardiac outflow tract development (NKX2.5, GATA4, ISL1, TBX20, MEF2C, BOP/SMYD1, HAND2, FOXC1, FOXC2, FOXH, FOXA2 and TBX1) in 93 non-syndromic, non-Mendelian TOF cases. We also analysed Illumina Human 660W-Quad SNP Array data for copy number variants in these genes; none were detected. Four of the rare variants detected have previously been shown to affect transactivation in in vitro reporter assays: FOXC1 p.P297S, FOXC2 p.Q444R, FOXH1 p.S113T and TBX1 p.P43_G61del PPPPRYDPCAAAAPGAPGP. Two further rare variants, HAND2 p.A25_A26insAA and FOXC1 p.G378_G380delGGG, A488_491delAAAA, affected transactivation in in vitro reporter assays. Each of these six functionally significant variants was present in a single patient in the heterozygous state; each of the four for which parental samples were available were maternally inherited. Thus in the 93 TOF cases we identified six functionally significant mutations in the secondary heart field transcriptional network. Significance This study indicates that rare genetic variants in the secondary heart field transcriptional network with functional effects on protein function occur in 3–13% of patients with TOF. This is the first report of a functionally significant HAND2 mutation in a patient with congenital heart disease.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e95453. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0095453 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Five of these families (two sporadic cases, three brother pairs) had not been studied previously. The remaining seven families had participated in other studies [1,3,31]. Only one family (two brothers) declined to participate in the study. "
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    ABSTRACT: The c.429_452dup24 of the ARX gene is a rare genetic anomaly, leading to X-Linked Intellectual Disability without brain malformation. While in certain cases c.429_452dup24 has been associated with specific clinical patterns such as Partington syndrome, the consequence of this mutation has been also often classified as "non-specific Intellectual Disability". The present work aims at a more precise description of the clinical features linked to the c.429_452dup24 mutation. We clinically reviewed all affected patients identified in France over a five-year period, i.e. 27 patients from 12 different families. Detailed cognitive, behavioural, and motor evaluation, as well as standardized videotaped assessments of oro-lingual and gestural praxis, were performed. In a sub-group of 13 ARX patients, kinematic and MRI studies were further accomplished to better characterize the motor impairment prevalent in the ARX patients group. To ensure that data were specific to the ARX gene mutation and did not result from low-cognitive functioning per se, a group of 27 age- and IQ-matched Down syndrome patients served as control. Neuropsychological and motor assessment indicated that the c.429_452dup24 mutation constitutes a recognizable clinical syndrome: ARX patients exhibiting Intellectual Disability, without primary motor impairment, but with a very specific upper limb distal motor apraxia associated with a pathognomonic hand-grip. Patients affected with the so-called Partington syndrome, which involves major hand dystonia and orolingual apraxia, exhibit the most severe symptoms of the disorder. The particular "reach and grip" impairment which was observed in all ARX patients, but not in Down syndrome patients, was further characterized by the kinematic data: (i) loss of preference for the index finger when gripping an object, (ii) major impairment of fourth finger deftness, and (iii) a lack of pronation movements. This lack of distal movement coordination exhibited by ARX patients is associated with the loss of independent digital dexterity and is similar to the distortion of individual finger movements and posture observed in Limb Kinetic Apraxia. These findings suggest that the ARX c.429_452dup24 mutation may be a developmental model for Limb Kinetic Apraxia.
    Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 02/2014; 9(1):25. DOI:10.1186/1750-1172-9-25 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "Aristaless-related homeobox gene (Arx) encodes a homeodomain containing transcription factor that is expressed in the brain, testis, muscle, pancreas, and digestive tract [1], [2], [3]. In the brain, Arx is essential for the proper development and migration of GABA-ergic interneurons and has a role in cortical ventricular zone proliferation [4], [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: ARX/Arx is a homeodomain-containing transcription factor necessary for the specification and early maintenance of pancreatic endocrine α-cells. Many transcription factors important to pancreas development, including ARX/Arx, are also crucial for proper brain development. Although null mutations of ARX in human patients result in the severe neurologic syndrome XLAG (X-linked lissencephaly associated with abnormal genitalia), the most common mutation is the expansion of the first polyalanine tract of ARX, which results primarily in the clinical syndrome ISSX (infantile spasms). Mouse models of XLAG, ISSX and other human ARX mutations demonstrate a direct genotype-phenotype correlation in ARX-related neurologic disorders. Furthermore, mouse models utilizing a polyalanine tract expansion mutation have illustrated critical developmental differences between null mutations and expansion mutations in the brain, revealing context-specific defects. Although Arx is known to be required for the specification and early maintenance of pancreatic glucagon-producing α-cells, the consequences of the Arx polyalanine expansion on pancreas development remain unknown. Here we report that mice with an expansion mutation in the first polyalanine tract of Arx exhibit impaired α-cell specification and maintenance, with gradual α-cell loss due to apoptosis. This is in contrast to the re-specification of α-cells into β- and δ-cells that occurs in mice null for Arx. Overall, our analysis of an Arx polyalanine expansion mutation on pancreatic development suggests that impaired α-cell function might also occur in ISSX patients.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e78741. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0078741 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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