The FREM1 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is involved in the formation and organization of basement membranes, which are thin, sheet-like structures that separate and support cells in many tissues.
The FREM1 protein is one of a group of proteins, including proteins called FRAS1 and FREM2, that interact during embryonic development as components of basement membranes. Basement membranes help anchor layers of cells lining the surfaces and cavities of the body (epithelial cells) to other embryonic tissues, including those that give rise to connective tissues (such as skin and cartilage) and the kidneys.
Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes
Manitoba oculotrichoanal syndrome
At least two FREM1 gene mutations have been identified in people with Manitoba oculotrichoanal syndrome. This condition involves several characteristic physical features, particularly affecting the eyes (oculo-), hair (tricho-), and anus (-anal). The mutations delete genetic material from the FREM1 gene or result in a premature stop signal that leads to an abnormally short FREM1 protein, and are believed to result in a nonfunctional protein.
Absence of functional FREM1 protein interferes with its role in embryonic basement membrane development and may also affect the location, stability, or function of the FRAS1 and FREM2 proteins. The features of Manitoba oculotrichoanal syndrome may result from the failure of neighboring embryonic tissues to fuse properly due to impairment of the basement membranes' anchoring function.More About This Health Condition
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Congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract
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At least three FREM1 gene mutations have been identified in people with a disorder called bifid nose, renal agenesis, and anorectal malformations syndrome, sometimes called BNAR. These mutations change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in the FREM1 protein or result in an abnormally shortened protein.
The mutations that cause BNAR likely disrupt the role of the FREM1 protein in the embryonic basement membranes of particular tissues, resulting in the cleft nasal cartilage (bifid nose), missing kidneys (renal agenesis), narrowed or misplaced anal opening (anorectal malformations), and other features characteristic of this disorder. Researchers suggest that BNAR and Manitoba oculotrichoanal syndrome, with their overlapping features, may be considered part of a single disorder spectrum.
Other Names for This Gene
- extracellular matrix protein QBRICK
- FRAS1-related extracellular matrix protein 1
Additional Information & Resources
Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry
Scientific Articles on PubMed
Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM
- Alazami AM, Shaheen R, Alzahrani F, Snape K, Saggar A, Brinkmann B, Bavi P, Al-Gazali LI, Alkuraya FS. FREM1 mutations cause bifid nose, renal agenesis, and anorectal malformations syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2009 Sep;85(3):414-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.08.010. Erratum In: Am J Hum Genet. 2009 Nov;85(5):756. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
- Pavlakis E, Chiotaki R, Chalepakis G. The role of Fras1/Frem proteins in the structure and function of basement membrane. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2011 Apr;43(4):487-95. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2010.12.016. Epub 2010 Dec 21. Citation on PubMed
- Slavotinek AM, Baranzini SE, Schanze D, Labelle-Dumais C, Short KM, Chao R, Yahyavi M, Bijlsma EK, Chu C, Musone S, Wheatley A, Kwok PY, Marles S, Fryns JP, Maga AM, Hassan MG, Gould DB, Madireddy L, Li C, Cox TC, Smyth I, Chudley AE, Zenker M. Manitoba-oculo-tricho-anal (MOTA) syndrome is caused by mutations in FREM1. J Med Genet. 2011 Jun;48(6):375-82. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2011.089631. Epub 2011 Apr 20. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
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