We used several microsatellite markers scattered along the X chromosome to search for linkage relationships in a large Sardinian pedigree segregating for nonspecific X-linked mental retardation (MRX). Markers DXS573 and AR, located at chromosomal subregions Xp11.4-p11.22 and Xq11.2-q12, respectively, were found to segregate in full concordance with the disease, leading to a LOD score of 4.21 at zero recombination value, Recombination with the disease was found with markers MAOB and DXS454 located at Xp11.4-p11.3 and Xq21.1-q22, respectively; accordingly, markers distal to Xp11.4 and Xq22 also segregated independently of the disease. These findings provide strong linkage evidence in favor of the localization of one MRX mutational site in the pericentromeric region of the human X chromosome, justifying the assignment of a new symbol (MRX26) to our pedigree. Finally, on the basis of the recombinational events observed in the Xq21-q22 region, we have been able to refine the assignment of marker DXS456 to Xq21.33-q22. (C) 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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