Article Text

Fragile X syndrome: from molecular genetics to therapy
  1. C D’Hulst,
  2. R F Kooy
  1. Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to R F Kooy, Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium; Frank.Kooy{at}


Fragile X syndrome, the main cause of inherited mental retardation, is caused by transcriptional silencing of the fragile X mental retardation gene, FMR1. Absence of the associated protein FMRP leads to the dysregulation of many genes creating a phenotype of ADHD, anxiety, epilepsy and autism. The core aim of this review is to summarise two decades of molecular research leading to the characterisation of cellular and molecular pathways involved in the pathology of this disease and as a consequence to the identification of two new promising targets for rational therapy of fragile X syndrome, namely the group 1 metabotrope glutamate receptors (Gp1 mGluRs) and the γ-amino butyric acid A receptors (GABAARs). As no current clinical treatments are directed specifically at the underlying neuronal defect due to absence of FMRP, this might open new powerful therapeutic strategies.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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