Mutations in CUL4B, which encodes a ubiquitin E3 ligase subunit, cause an X-linked mental retardation syndrome associated with aggressive outbursts, seizures, relative macrocephaly, central obesity, hypogonadism, pes cavus, and tremor

Am J Hum Genet. 2007 Feb;80(2):345-52. doi: 10.1086/511134. Epub 2007 Jan 4.


We have identified three truncating, two splice-site, and three missense variants at conserved amino acids in the CUL4B gene on Xq24 in 8 of 250 families with X-linked mental retardation (XLMR). During affected subjects' adolescence, a syndrome emerged with delayed puberty, hypogonadism, relative macrocephaly, moderate short stature, central obesity, unprovoked aggressive outbursts, fine intention tremor, pes cavus, and abnormalities of the toes. This syndrome was first described by Cazebas et al., in a family that was included in our study and that carried a CUL4B missense variant. CUL4B is a ubiquitin E3 ligase subunit implicated in the regulation of several biological processes, and CUL4B is the first XLMR gene that encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase. The relatively high frequency of CUL4B mutations in this series indicates that it is one of the most commonly mutated genes underlying XLMR and suggests that its introduction into clinical diagnostics should be a high priority.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Aggression
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cullin Proteins / genetics*
  • Foot Deformities / genetics
  • Head / abnormalities
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / genetics
  • Male
  • Mental Retardation, X-Linked / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Protein Subunits / genetics
  • Seizures / genetics
  • Tremor / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics*


  • CUL4B protein, human
  • Cullin Proteins
  • Protein Subunits
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases

Associated data

  • RefSeq/NM_003588
  • RefSeq/NP_003579