J Genet Med.  2008 Jun;5(1):41-46.

Molecular diagnosis of fragile X syndrome in a female child

  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea. genetics@kornet.net


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common heritable cause of cognitive impairment. FXS is caused by hyperexpansion and hypermethylation of a polymorphic CGG trinucleotide repeat in the 5' untranslated region of the fragile X mental retadation-1(FMR1) gene. Combination of Southern blotting and simple polymerase chain reaction(PCR) amplification of the FMR1 repeat region is commonly used for diagnosis in females. To give a definite diagnosis in a female child suspected of having FXS, we carried out the molecular diagnostic test for FXS using the recently developed Abbott Molecular Fragile X PCR Kit.
The PCR amplification of the FMR1 repeat region was performed using the Abbott Mdecular Fragile X PCR Kit. The amplified products were analyzed by size-separate analysis on 1.5% agarose gels and by DNA fragment analysis using Gene scan.
Agarose gel and Gene scan analyses of PCR products of the FMR1 repeat region showed that the patient had two heterozygous alleles with a normal 30 repeats and full mutation of >200 repeats whereas her mother had two heterozygous alleles with the normal 30 repeats and premutation of 108 repeats, suggesting that the premutation of 108 repeats in her mother may have led to the full mutation of >200 repeats in the patient.
We diagnosed FXS in a female patient using a simplified molecular diagnostic test. This commercially available diagnostic test for FXS, based on PCR, may be a suitable alternative or complement method to Southern blot analysis and PCR analysis and/or methylation specific(MS)-PCR analysis for the molecular diagnosis of FXS in both males and females.


Fragile X syndrome; Molecular diagnosis; Fragile X mental retadation-1(FMR1); CGG repeats
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