Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Severe Mental Retardation Gene Mutation Identified

Date:
March 20, 2007
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Researchers have identified a novel gene mutation that causes X-linked mental retardation for which there was no previously known molecular diagnosis, according to an article to be published electronically on Tuesday, March 20, 2007, in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Researchers have identified a novel gene mutation that causes X-linked mental retardation for which there was no previously known molecular diagnosis, according to an article to be published electronically on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

Investigators F. Lucy Raymond (Cambridge Institute of Medical Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK) and Patrick S. Tarpey (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hixton, UK) describe the ZDHHC9 gene found in those with severe retardation as being mutated to the point of entirely losing function.

"ZDHHC9 is a novel gene," explains Dr. Raymond. "This gene would not have been predicted to play a role in mental retardation based on the previous genetics work. It was found only because we were systematically looking at all the genes on the X chromosome irrespective of what they do."

X-linked mental retardation is severe. Some patients require total care and may not have language ability. The condition runs in families and only affects the male offspring. So far only a few of these genes have been identified.

Working through a large, international collaboration, the researchers collected genetic samples from 250 families in which at least two boys have mental retardation to help identify novel genes that cause X-linked mental retardation. The investigators systematically analyzed the X chromosome for gene mutations.

Dr. Raymond says that the families are receiving information from the study and using it to make decisions in their lives. "We cannot currently make their children better, but knowing that we found a genetic abnormality gives them an explanation for what has happened," she explains. "We had one family that said this knowledge was the best news they had ever been given."

"We have identified the cause of problems in certain families and are able to tell whether or not women are carriers of the condition," Dr. Raymond comments. "Consequently, the families that had previously chosen to forego having children because there was no method of testing can now be tested. We have been able to test a substantial number of people to identify whether are not they are carriers, and we can offer prenatal testing to the carriers who want it."

In the broader picture, this research is not only benefiting families with X-linked mental retardation, but it is also defining the genes involved in intellectual development. "If you find genes that are abnormal, it is a reasonable assumption that the identified genes are involved in the formation of normal intellectual processing as well," concludes Dr. Raymond.

Now that a posttranslational modification enzyme has been found to be mutated in X-linked mental retardation, the researchers expect to find similar genes related to other mental retardation syndromes.

This paper is the fourth in a series of research articles identifying new genes that cause mental retardation when they mutate. The first three articles on DLG3, CUL4B and AP1S2 were also published in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

The American Journal of Human Genetics provides a record of research and review relating to heredity in man and to the application of genetic principles in medicine and public policy, as well as in related areas of molecular and cell biology. Topics include behavioral, biochemical, clinical, cyto-, immuno-, molecular, neuro-, and population genetics; counseling, dysmorphology, gene therapy, epidemiology, and genomics. AJHG is published by the University of Chicago Press on behalf of the American Society of Human Genetics.

F. Lucy Raymond, Patrick S. Tarpey, et al., "Mutations in ZDHHC9, Which Encodes a Palmitoyltransferase of NRAS and HRAS, Cause X-Linked Mental Retardation Associated with a Marfanoid Habitus." The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2007;80:5.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Severe Mental Retardation Gene Mutation Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070320095653.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2007, March 20). Severe Mental Retardation Gene Mutation Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070320095653.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Severe Mental Retardation Gene Mutation Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070320095653.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins