Fragile X syndrome is a monogenic disorder and a common cause of intellectual disability. Despite nearly 25 years of research on FMR1, the gene underlying the syndrome, very few pathological mutations other than the typical CGG-repeat expansion have been reported. This is in contrast to other X-linked, monogenic, intellectual disability disorders, such as Rett syndrome, where many point mutations have been validated as causative of the disorder. As technology has improved and significantly driven down the cost of sequencing, allowing for whole genes to be sequenced with relative ease, in-depth sequencing studies on FMR1 have recently been performed. These studies have led to the identification of novel variants in FMR1, where some of which have been functionally evaluated and are likely pathogenic. In this review, we discuss recently identified FMR1 variants, the ways these novel variants cause dysfunction, and how they reveal new regulatory mechanisms and functionalities of the gene.
Keywords: FMR1; FMRP; autism spectrum disorder; fragile X syndrome; intellectual disability; synaptic plasticity.