Based on molecular screening, we estimated the frequencies of fragile X syndrome and FRAXE syndrome in an institutionalized population (n = 130) in New Delhi, India. Eligibility criteria for inclusion of subjects in the study were mild/moderate mental retardation, with/without family history, and the fragile X clinical phenotype. Screening by Southern hybridization revealed an overall frequency of 0.077 of the syndrome in the sample population. The disorder was observed with a high frequency (0.1) among males as compared to females (0.027). No expansions of FMR2 allele were observed in the same study sample. CGG/GCC allelic polymorphism of FMR1 and FMR2 were established from a total of 392 X chromosomes, using the radioactive polymerase chain reaction-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis method. Distinct repeat sizes, repeat ranges, and repeat modes characterised the FMR1 and FMR2 alleles. In the X chromosomes of both MR individuals and unaffected controls, unimodal values of 29 and 15 repeats in FMR1 and FMR2 genes, respectively, were observed. Allele frequency distribution was symmetrical at the FMR1 locus whereas a significant positive skew was observed for the FMR2 alleles. The observed heterozygosity of the FMR1 gene was 0.772 compared to 0.839 of FMR2. Correlation of CGG/GCC repeats of FMR1 and FMR2 did not show any association of repeat sizes at these two loci (correlation coefficient, rho = 0.09). CGG/GCC repeat variation at FMR1 and FMR2 loci observed in this study sample are different from that reported for the other Caucasian and Asian populations.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.