Phenotypic Variation and FMRP Levels in Fragile X

Danuta Z. Loesch, Richard M. Huggins, Randi J Hagerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


Data on the relationships between cognitive and physical phenotypes, and a deficit of fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene-specific protein product, FMRP, are presented and discussed in context with earlier findings. The previously unpublished results obtained, using standard procedures of regression and correlations, showed highly significant associations in males between FMRP levels and the Wechsler summary and subtest scores and in females between these levels and the full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ), verbal and performance IQ, and some Wechsler subtest scores. The published results based on data from 144 extended families with fragile X, recruited from Australia and the United States within a collaborative NIH-supported project, were obtained using robust modification of maximum likelihood in pedigrees. The results indicated that processing speed, short-term memory, and the ability to control attention, especially in the context of regulating goal-directed behavior, may be primarily affected by the FMRP depletion. The effect of this depletion on physical phenotype was also demonstrated, especially on body and head height and extensibility of finger joints. It is recommended that further studies should rely on more accurate measures of FMRP levels, and use of larger samples, to overcome extensive variability in the data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Anthropomorphic measures
  • FMRP
  • Fragile X
  • IQ
  • Neurocognitive testing
  • Pedigree analysis
  • Physical phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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