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FRAXA is unique amongst fragile sites in that it is intimately involved with a specific clinical phenotype, the fragile X syndrome. Whilst the majority of fragile X individuals have been found to have a characteristic mutation in the FMR1 gene, a small proportion of individuals exhibiting fragility have no such mutation. Investigation of the site of chromosome fragility in these FMR1 mutation negative, fragile X site positive individuals, has identified a second site of fragility, FRAXE. However, the presence of FRAXE has not explained all such cases. Here we describe a fragile X site positive, FMR1 mutation negative family, in which chromosome fragility is not due to the FRAXA or FRAXE but is due to a third site designated FRAXF. Using fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) this site is shown to lie over 1Mb distal to FRAXA. The identification of a third fragile site in this small region of the X chromosome provides an opportunity to extend our studies of the molecular nature of chromosome fragility.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





197 - 200


Adolescent, Adult, Chromatin, Chromosome Fragile Sites, Chromosome Fragility, Female, Fragile X Syndrome, Genetic Markers, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Infant, Male, Pedigree, X Chromosome