MECP2-related conditions in males: A systematic literature review and 8 additional cases

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2021 Sep:34:7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2021.05.013. Epub 2021 Jun 21.


Objective: To present a cohort of 8 males and perform a systematic review of all published cases with a single copy of MECP2 carrying a pathogenic variant.

Methods: We reviewed medical records of males with a single copy of MECP2 carrying a pathogenic variant. We searched in Medline (Pubmed) and Embase to collect all articles which included well-characterized males with a single copy of MECP2 carrying a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant in MECP2 (1999-2020).

Results: The literature search yielded a total of 3,185 publications, of which 58 were included in our systematic review. We were able to collect information on 27 published patients with severe neonatal encephalopathy, 47 individuals with isolated or familial mental retardation X-linked 13 (XLMR13), as well as 24 individuals with isolated or familial Pyramidal signs, parkinsonism, and macroorchidism (PPM-X). In our cohort, we met eight individuals aged 4 to 19-year-old at the last evaluation. Three MECP2-associated phenotypes were seen in male carriers of a single copy of the gene: severe neonatal encephalopathy (n = 5); X-linked intellectual deficiency 13 (n = 2); and pyramidal signs, parkinsonism, and macroorchidism (PPM-X) (n = 1). Two novel de novo variants [p.(Gly252Argfs∗7) and p.(Tyr132Cys)] were detected.

Conclusion: In males, the MECP2 pathogenic variants can be associated with different phenotypes, including neonatal severe encephalopathy, intellectual deficiency, or late-onset parkinsonism and spasticity. The typical RS phenotype is not expected in males, except in those with Klinefelter syndrome or somatic mosaicism for MECP2.

Keywords: Developmental and epileptic encephalopathy; MECP2; Males; PPM-X; Rett syndrome.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Genes, X-Linked
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability* / genetics
  • Male
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Rett Syndrome* / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • MECP2 protein, human
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2