Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common monogenic cause of intellectual disability and autism. Molecular diagnostic testing of FXS and related disorders (fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency (FXPOI) and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS)) relies on a combination of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot (SB) for the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1
) CGG-repeat expansion and methylation analyses. Recent advancements in PCR-based technologies have enabled the characterization of the complete spectrum of CGG-repeat mutation, with or without methylation assessment, and, as a result, have reduced our reliance on the labor- and time-intensive SB, which is the gold standard FXS diagnostic test. The newer and more robust triplet-primed PCR or TP-PCR assays allow the mapping of AGG interruptions and enable the predictive analysis of the risks of unstable CGG expansion during mother-to-child transmission. In this review, we have summarized the correlation between several molecular elements, including CGG-repeat size, methylation, mosaicism and skewed X-chromosome inactivation, and the extent of clinical involvement in patients with FMR1
-related disorders, and reviewed key developments in PCR-based methodologies for the molecular diagnosis of FXS, FXTAS and FXPOI, and large-scale (CGG)n
expansion screening in newborns, women of reproductive age and high-risk populations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited