Fragile X syndrome: An overview and update of the FMR1 gene

Clin Genet. 2018 Feb;93(2):197-205. doi: 10.1111/cge.13075. Epub 2017 Oct 1.


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and the leading form of the monogenic cause of autism. Fragile X mental retardation type 1 (FMR1) gene premutation is the first single-gene cause of primary ovarian failure (Fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency [FXPOI]) and one of the most common causes of ataxia (fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome [FXTAS]), multiple additional phenotypes such as fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, migraine headaches, sleep disturbances, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, central pain syndrome, neuropathy and neuropsychiatric alterations has been described. Clinical involvement in men and women carrying the FMR1 premutation currently constitutes a real health problem in the society that should be taken into account. It is important to highlight that while in FXS there is a loss-of-function of the FMR1 gene, in premutation associated disorders there is a gain of FMR1 mRNA function. To date, the tremendous progress achieved in the understanding of the pathophysiology of FXS, has led to the development of several targeted therapies aimed at preventing or improving the neurological manifestations of the disease. This review is an update of the diseases associated with the FMR1 gene.

Keywords: FMR1 expansion; FXPOI; FXTAS; fragile X syndrome; genetic counseling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia / genetics*
  • Ataxia / pathology
  • Autistic Disorder / genetics
  • Autistic Disorder / pathology
  • Female
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein / genetics*
  • Fragile X Syndrome / genetics*
  • Fragile X Syndrome / pathology
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics
  • Intellectual Disability / pathology
  • Male
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / genetics*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / pathology
  • Tremor / genetics*
  • Tremor / pathology


  • FMR1 protein, human
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein

Supplementary concepts

  • Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome