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Mice with truncated MeCP2 recapitulate many Rett syndrome features and display hyperacetylation of histone H3.

Mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene cause Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the loss of language and motor skills during early childhood. We generated mice with a truncating mutation similar to those found in RTT patients. These mice appeared normal and exhibited normal motor function for about 6 weeks, but then developed a progressive neurological disease that includes many features of RTT: tremors, motor impairments, hypoactivity, increased anxiety-related behavior, seizures, kyphosis, and stereotypic forelimb motions. Additionally, we show that although the truncated MeCP2 protein in these mice localizes normally to heterochromatic domains in vivo, histone H3 is hyperacetylated, providing evidence that the chromatin architecture is abnormal and that gene expression may be misregulated in this model of Rett syndrome.

Pubmed ID: 12160743


  • Shahbazian M
  • Young J
  • Yuva-Paylor L
  • Spencer C
  • Antalffy B
  • Noebels J
  • Armstrong D
  • Paylor R
  • Zoghbi H



Publication Data

July 18, 2002

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD24064
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH12555-02
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: P01 HD40301

Mesh Terms

  • Acetylation
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Biological Markers
  • Central Nervous System
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Conditioning (Psychology)
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Histones
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Movement Disorders
  • Mutation
  • Neurons
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Social Behavior