Document Type


Publication Date



Repeat-associated non-AUG-initiated translation of expanded CGG repeats (CGG RAN) from the FMR1 5′-leader produces toxic proteins that contribute to neurodegeneration in fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Here we describe how unexpanded CGG repeats and their translation play conserved roles in regulating fragile X protein (FMRP) synthesis. In neurons, CGG RAN acts as an inhibitory upstream open reading frame to suppress basal FMRP production. Activation of mGluR5 receptors enhances FMRP synthesis. This enhancement requires both the CGG repeat and CGG RAN initiation sites. Using non-cleaving antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), we selectively blocked CGG RAN. This ASO blockade enhanced endogenous FMRP expression in human neurons. In human and rodent neurons, CGG RAN-blocking ASOs suppressed repeat toxicity and prolonged survival. These findings delineate a native function for CGG repeats and RAN translation in regulating basal and activity-dependent FMRP synthesis, and they demonstrate the therapeutic potential of modulating CGG RAN translation in fragile X-associated disorders.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Nature Neuroscience, volume 23, issue 3, in 2020 following peer review. This article may not exactly replicate the final published version. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


The authors



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.