Recent insights into genotype-phenotype relationships in patients with Rett syndrome using a fine grain scale

Rosa Angela Fabio, Barbara Colombo, Silvia Russo, Francesca Cogliati, Maura Masciadri, Silvia Foglia, Alessandro Antonietti, Daniela Tavian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mutations in MECP2 gene cause Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting around 1 in 10,000 female births. The clinical picture of RTT appears quite heterogeneous for each single feature. Mutations in MECP2 gene have been associated with the onset of RTT. The most known gene function consists of transcriptional repression of specific target genes, mainly by the binding of its methyl binding domain (MBD) to methylated CpG nucleotides and recruiting co-repressors and histone deacetylase binding to DNA by its transcription repressor domain (TRD). This study aimed at evaluating a cohort of 114 Rett syndrome (RTT) patients with a detailed scale measuring the different kinds of impairments produced by the syndrome. The sample included relatively large subsets of the most frequent mutations, so that genotype-phenotype correlations could be tested. Results revealed that frequent missense mutations showed a specific profile in different areas of impairment. The R306C mutation, considered as producing mild impairment, was associated to a moderate phenotype in which behavioural characteristics were mainly affected. A notable difference emerged by comparing mutations truncating the protein before and after the nuclear localization signal; such a difference concerned prevalently the motor-functional and autonomy skills of the patients, affecting the management of everyday activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2976-2986
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Autonomy
  • Cognitive processes
  • Emotion
  • MECP2
  • Motor behaviour
  • Rett syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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