MECP2 mutations in Israel: implications for molecular analysis, genetic counseling, and prenatal diagnosis in Rett syndrome

Hum Mutat. 2002 Oct;20(4):323-4. doi: 10.1002/humu.9069.


This report describes molecular analysis of the MECP2 gene in 37 Israeli patients suspected of having Rett syndrome (RTT). The patients were from various Jewish ethnic groups and from Arabic origin. Of the 17 patients with classical RTT, bi-directional sequencing of the coding exons revealed MECP2 mutations in 14 patients. About 66% of the mutations were located in previously described hot-spots. One case presented a novel mutation (141insA). Mutation-negative patients were further analyzed by Southern blot, which detected a novel gross rearrangement in another classical case. Altogether, detection rate in classical cases was 88%. In a non-classical case, a novel missense mutation (1451G>C) was detected in an affected girl and in her normal father, suggesting that this is a non-pathogenic alteration. Another variant (1461 + 96insA) was detected in an affected girl and in her healthy mother and also in another affected girl and her healthy father, suggesting that this variant too, is non-pathogenic. No significant difference in mutation type was noted among the different ethnic groups. In one familial case, the same mutation was detected in two sibs but not in their mother, suggesting germ-line mosaicism. Our results suggest that mutation-negative cases should be further assessed for gross rearrangements and that molecular analysis of the parents is often required when previously undescribed sequence alterations are detected.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern / methods
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone*
  • Chromosomes, Human, X / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Ethnicity / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement / genetics
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Genetics, Medical / methods*
  • Germ-Line Mutation / genetics
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Israel / ethnology
  • Jews / genetics
  • Male
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2
  • Mosaicism / diagnosis
  • Mosaicism / genetics
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Rett Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Rett Syndrome / genetics*


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MECP2 protein, human
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Repressor Proteins