Molecular genetics of Rett syndrome: when DNA methylation goes unrecognized

Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Jun;7(6):415-26. doi: 10.1038/nrg1878.


The discovery that Rett syndrome is caused by mutations that affect the methyl-CpG-binding protein MeCP2 provided a major breakthrough in understanding this severe neurodevelopmental disorder. Animal models and expression studies have contributed to defining the role of MeCP2 in development, highlighting its contribution to postnatal neuronal morphogenesis and function. Furthermore, in vitro assays and microrray studies have delineated the potential molecular mechanisms of MeCP2 function, and have indicated a role in the transcriptional silencing of specific target genes. As well as unravelling the mechanisms that underlie Rett syndrome, these studies provide more general insights into how DNA-methylation patterns are recognized and translated into biological outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Methylation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 / genetics*
  • Rett Syndrome / genetics*


  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2