Human Genetics

, Volume 114, Issue 5, pp 439–447 | Cite as

A study of the distributional characteristics of FMR1 transcript levels in 238 individuals

  • Emily G. Allen
  • Weiya He
  • Maneesha Yadav-Shah
  • Stephanie L. ShermanEmail author
Original Investigation


Fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation, is caused by hyperexpansion and hypermethylation of a CGG repeat tract in the 5’ untranslated region of the FMR1 gene. This methylation causes the gene to be transcriptionally silenced. In addition to the common allele form with less than 41 repeats, there are two other allelic forms of the FMR1 gene that are unmethylated: premutation (61–200 CGG repeats) and intermediate (41–60 CGG repeats). Recently, premutation-specific phenotypes not related to fragile X syndrome have been reported: a 20-fold increased risk for premature ovarian failure (POF) among female carriers and an increased risk for a tremor ataxia syndrome (TAS) primarily among older male carriers. At the molecular level, increased levels of FMR1 transcript have been observed among premutation carriers. Increased levels of transcript may be causally related to the POF or TAS phenotypes or may be a surrogate of some other allelic property. In this report, we have examined the distributional properties of transcript levels by repeat size and gender among 238 individuals. We have confirmed a significant linear relationship between transcript level and repeat size in males and females. The evidence for the linear effect is primarily within the premutation size alleles.


Repeat Number Premature Ovarian Failure Repeat Size FMR1 Gene Premutation Carrier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Fuping Zhang and the laboratory of Stephen T. Warren for technical assistance, Michael Epstein for statistical discussions, and Darlene Swowimo, Ieasha Edwards, Mary L. Leslie, Elizabeth H. Scott, Gloria Novak, Lisa Shubeck, Johnnie Brown, and Amy Sullivan for recruitment of samples. This work was funded by NIH HD29909-HD35576 and CRC US DHS NIH MO-1-RR-00039.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily G. Allen
    • 1
  • Weiya He
    • 1
  • Maneesha Yadav-Shah
    • 1
  • Stephanie L. Sherman
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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