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, 9 (2), 71-81

XLMR Genes: Update 2000


XLMR Genes: Update 2000

P Chiurazzi et al. Eur J Hum Genet.


This is the sixth edition of the catalogue of XLMR genes, ie X-linked genes whose malfunctioning causes mental retardation. The cloning era is not yet concluded, actually much remains to be done to account for the 202 XLMR conditions listed in this update. Many of these may eventually prove to be due to mutations in the same gene but the present number of 33 cloned genes falls surely short of the actual total count. It is now clear that even small families or individual patients with cytogenetic rearrangements can be instrumental in pinning down the remaining genes. DNA chip technology will hopefully allow (re)screening large numbers of patients for mutations in candidate genes or testing the expression levels of many candidate genes in informative families. Slowly, our knowledge of the structure and functioning of the proteins encoded by these genes is beginning to cast some light on the biological pathways required for the normal development of intelligence. Correlations between the molecular defects and the phenotypic manifestations are also being established. In order to facilitate the exchange of existing information and to allow its timely update, we prepared the first edition of the XLMR database (available at and invite all colleagues, expert in the field, to contribute with their experience.

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