The fragile X syndrome locus, FRAXA, is located at Xq27. Until recently, few polymorphic loci had been genetically mapped close to FRAXA. This has been attributed to an increased frequency of recombination at Xq27, possibly associated with the fragile X mutation. In addition, the frequency of recombination around FRAXA has been reported to vary among fragile X families. These observations suggested that the genetic map at Xq27 in normal populations was different from that in fragile X populations and that the genetic map also varied within the fragile X population. Such variability would reduce the reliability of carrier risk estimates based on DNA studies in fragile X families. Five polymorphic loci have now been mapped to within 4 cM of FRAXA-DXS369, DXS297, DXS296, IDS, and DXS304. The frequency of recombination at Xq26-q28 was evaluated using data at these loci and at more distant loci from 112 families with the fragile X syndrome. Two-point and multipoint linkage analyses failed to detect any difference in the recombination fractions in fragile X versus normal families. Two-point and multipoint tests of linkage homogeneity neity failed to detect any evidence of linkage heterogeneity in the fragile X families. On the basis of this analysis, genetic maps derived from large samples of normal familes and those derived from fragile X families are equally valid as the basis for calculating carrier risk estimates in a particular family.
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