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X chromosome inactivation in the cycle of life

By T.S. (Tahsin Stefan) Barakat and J.H. (Joost) Gribnau


Female mammalian cells silence one of their two X chromosomes, resulting in equal expression levels of Xencoded genes in female XX and male XY cells. In mice, the X chromosomes in female cells go through sequential steps of inactivation and reactivation. Depending on the developmental time window, imprinted or random X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is initiated, and both processes lead to an inactive X chromosome that is clonally inherited. Here, we review new insights into the life cycle of XCI and provide an overview of the mechanisms regulating X inactivation and reactivation

Topics: Tsix, X chromosome inactivation, XCI activator, XCI inhibitor, Xist
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1242/dev.069328
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