A novel duplication in the FMR1 gene: implications for molecular analysis in fragile X syndrome and repeat instability.
ABSTRACT We have observed a 49 bp tandem duplication adjacent to the triplet repeat of the FMR1 gene and have shown it to occur as a variant in Finland. It affects the primers commonly used in molecular analysis of fragile X syndrome by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. One concern is that females with the full mutation and variant alleles might be missed because of the two PCR products generated by the variant. We suggest that the duplication has arisen by a misalignment of the proximal end of the repeat tract and the non-adjacent GGCGGCGGCGG-sequence located 37 bp upstream and may indicate a mutation hot spot. The discovery of this duplication and the previous observations on deletions associated with full mutations in FMR1 indicate that realignment between the repeat tract and dispersed non-adjacent homologous repetitive sequences may also play a role in repeat instability in fragile X.
- American Journal of Medical Genetics 05/1999; 83(4):347-9.
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ABSTRACT: The fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation, is caused by mutations that increase the size of a specific DNA fragment of the X chromosome (in Xq27.3). Affected persons have both a full mutation and abnormal DNA methylation. Persons with a smaller increase in the size of this DNA fragment (a premutation) have little or no risk of retardation but are at high risk of having affected children or grandchildren. The passage from premutation to full-mutation status occurs only with transmission from the mother. We have devised a method of identifying carriers of these mutations by direct DNA analysis. We studied 511 persons from 63 families with the fragile X syndrome. Mutations and abnormal methylation were detected by Southern blotting with a probe adjacent to the mutation target. Analysis of EcoRI and EagI digests of DNA distinguished clearly in a single test between the normal genotype, the premutation, and the full mutation. DNA analysis unambiguously established the genetic status at the fragile X locus for all samples tested. This method was much more powerful and reliable than cytogenetic testing or segregation studies with closely linked polymorphic markers. The frequency of mental retardation in persons with premutations was similar to that in the general population, whereas all 103 males and 31 of 59 females with full mutations had mental retardation. About 15 percent of those with full mutations had some cells carrying only the premutation. All the mothers of affected children were carriers of either a premutation or a full mutation. Direct diagnosis by DNA analysis is now an efficient and reliable primary test for the diagnosis of the fragile X syndrome after birth, as well as for prenatal diagnosis and genetic counseling.New England Journal of Medicine 01/1992; 325(24):1673-81. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The apparent associations between fragile X mutations and nearby microsatellites may reflect both founder effects and microsatellite instability. To gain further insight into their relative contributions, we typed a sample of 56 unrelated control and 37 fragile X chromosomes from an eastern Finnish population for FMR1 CGG repeat lengths, AGG interspersion patterns, DXS548, FRAXAC1, FRAXE and a new polymorphic locus, Alu-L. In the controls, the most common FMR1 allele was 30 repeats with a range of 20 to 47 and a calculated heterozygosity of 88%. A strong founder effect was observed for locus DXS548 with 95% of fragile X chromosomes having the 21 CA repeat (196 bp) allele compared to 17% of controls, while none of the fragile X but 69% of controls had the 20 repeat allele. Although the FRAXAC1 locus is much closer than DXS548 to FMR1 (7 kb vs. 150 kb), there was no significant difference between fragile X and control FRAXAC1 allele distributions. The FRAXE repeat, located 600 kb distal to FMR1, was found to show strong linkage disequilibrium as well. A newly defined polymorphism, Alu-L, located at ∼40 kb distal to the FMR1 repeat, showed very low polymorphism in the Finnish samples. Analysis of the combined loci DXS548-FRAXAC1- FRAXE showed three founder haplotypes. Haplotype 21-19-16 was found on 27 (75%) of fragile X chromosomes but on none of controls. Three (8.4%) fragile X chromosomes had haplotypes 21-19-15, 21-19-20, and 21-19-25 differing from the common fragile X haplotype only in FRAXE. These could have arisen by recombination or from mutations of FRAXE. A second haplotype 21-18-17 was found in four (11.1%) fragile X chromosomes but only one (1.9%) control. This may represent a more recent founder mutation. A third haplotype 25-21-15, seen in two fragile X chromosomes (5.6%) and one (1.9%) control, was even less common and thus may represent an even more recent mutation or admixture of immigrant types. Analysis of the AGG interspersions within the FMR1 CGG repeat showed that 7/8 premutation chromosomes lacked an AGG whereas all controls had at least one AGG. This supports the hypothesis that the mutation of AGG to CGG leads to repeat instability and mutational expansion. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.American Journal of Medical Genetics 12/1998; 64(1):226 - 233.