Phenotypic variation and FMRP levels in fragile X

Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2004;10(1):31-41. doi: 10.1002/mrdd.20006.


Data on the relationships between cognitive and physical phenotypes, and a deficit of fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene-specific protein product, FMRP, are presented and discussed in context with earlier findings. The previously unpublished results obtained, using standard procedures of regression and correlations, showed highly significant associations in males between FMRP levels and the Wechsler summary and subtest scores and in females between these levels and the full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ), verbal and performance IQ, and some Wechsler subtest scores. The published results based on data from 144 extended families with fragile X, recruited from Australia and the United States within a collaborative NIH-supported project, were obtained using robust modification of maximum likelihood in pedigrees. The results indicated that processing speed, short-term memory, and the ability to control attention, especially in the context of regulating goal-directed behavior, may be primarily affected by the FMRP depletion. The effect of this depletion on physical phenotype was also demonstrated, especially on body and head height and extensibility of finger joints. It is recommended that further studies should rely on more accurate measures of FMRP levels, and use of larger samples, to overcome extensive variability in the data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein
  • Fragile X Syndrome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Male
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / deficiency
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Wechsler Scales


  • FMR1 protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein