ARX: a gene for all seasons

Jozef Gécz, Desiree Cloosterman, Michael Partington

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


The Aristaless-related homeobox gene, ARX, is an important transcription factor with a crucial role in forebrain, pancreas and testes development. At least fifty-nine mutations have been described in the ARX gene in seven X-chromosome linked disorders involving mental retardation. Recent studies with ARX screening suggest that the gene is mutated in 9.5% of X-linked families with these disorders. Two different polyalanine expansion mutations represent 46% of all currently known mutations and show considerable pleiotropy. The ARX gene is emerging as one of the more important disease-causing genes on the X chromosome and ought to be considered for routine screening. Although the normal Arx protein is known to be a bifunctional transcriptional activator and repressor, the complete biochemical characterization of the normal and mutated ARX awaits further investigation. Pax4 was identified as one of the ARX target genes, and both proteins have crucial functions in endocrine mouse pancreas α-cell and β-cell lineage specification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-316
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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