Annexin-1 is abnormally expressed in fragile X syndrome: Two-dimensional electrophoresis study in lymphocytes

Hong Tao Sun, Sonia Cohen, Walter E. Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The search for targets of FMRP (the product of FMR1, the mutated gene in Fragile X syndrome) has predominantly focused on identifying transcripts that are regulated by this RNA-binding protein. This study introduces the use of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE) as a novel approach for demonstrating changes in protein synthesis secondary to FMRP deficit. By a standardized 2D PAGE protocol, we studied leukocyte homogenates from 30 males with different patterns of FMR1 mutation and different levels of FMRP. Samples from these subjects were compared to those of 12 normal control males and eight subjects with other mental retardation-associated conditions (i.e., Rett and Down syndromes). We found an abnormal pattern of a major leukocytic protein, identified by 2D PAGE datasets and immunoblotting as annexin-1 (Anx-1). Anx-1 appeared in subjects with Fragile X as multiple rather than 1-2 spots, at ∼37 kd, in the pI 5-7 range. The presence and intensity of this Anx-1 pattern was relatively independent of Anx-1 levels and inversely related to total and high MW FMRP immunoreactivities. Based on the 2D PAGE pattern, without obvious MW change, and on dephosphorylation assays, we concluded that Anx-1's abnormality represents an aberrant posttranslational modification other than phosphorylation. Comparisons of our data with published cytoskeletal protein 2D profiles suggest that Anx-1 may be abnormally acetylated and, consequently, incapable of establishing appropriate N-terminal protein-protein interactions. In addition to its peripheral anti-inflammatory function, Anx-1 mediates glucocorticoid inhibition of the hypothalamopituitary-adrenal axis. As the latter seems to be disrupted in Fragile X syndrome, the reported Anx-1 abnormality could be responsible for some aspects of the Fragile X neurobehavioral phenotype. Our data also emphasize the feasibility of using 2D PAGE for disclosing molecular abnormalities in Fragile X and other genetic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of medical genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 15 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • 2D PAGE
  • Annexin-1
  • FMR1
  • FMRP
  • Fragile X
  • Leukocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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