Fragile X family members have important and non-overlapping functions

Claudia Winograd, Stephanie Ceman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The fragile X family of genes encodes a small family of RNA binding proteins including FMRP, FXR1P and FXR2P that were identified in the 1990s. All three members are encoded by 17 exons and show alternative splicing at the 3′ ends of their respective transcripts. They share significant homology in the protein functional domains, including the Tudor domains, the nuclear localization sequence, a protein-protein interaction domain, the KH1 and KH2 domains and the nuclear export sequence. Fragile X family members are found throughout the animal kingdom, although all three members are not consistently present in species outside of mammals: only two family members are present in the avian species examined, Gallus gallus and Taeniopygia guttata, and in the frog Xenopus tropicalis. Although present in many tissues, the functions of the fragile X family members differ, which are particularly evident in knockout studies performed in animals. The fragile X family members play roles in normal neuronal function and in the case of FXR1, in muscle function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-352
Number of pages10
JournalBiomolecular Concepts
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011


  • FMR1
  • FXR1
  • FXR2
  • RNA binding proteins
  • fragile X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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