X-changing information on X inactivation

Barakat, T. S., Jonkers, I., Monkhorst, K. & Gribnau, J., 10-Mar-2010, In : Experimental Cell Research. 316, 5, p. 679-87 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

In female somatic cells of mammalian species one X chromosome is inactivated to ensure dosage equality of X-encoded genes between females and males, during development and adulthood. X chromosome inactivation (XCI) involves various epigenetic mechanisms, including RNA mediated gene silencing in cis, DNA methylation, and changes in chromatin modifications and composition. XCI therefore provides an attractive paradigm to study epigenetic gene regulation in a more general context. The XCI process starts with counting of the number of X chromosomes present in a nucleus, and initiation of XCI follows if this number exceeds one per diploid genome. Recently, X-encoded RNF12 has been identified as a dose-dependent activator of XCI. In addition, other factors, including the pluripotency factors OCT4, SOX2 and Nanog, have been implicated to play a role in suppression of initiation of XCI. In this review, we highlight and explain these new and old findings in the context of a stochastic model for X chromosome counting and XCI initiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-87
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10-Mar-2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals, DNA Methylation, Epigenesis, Genetic, Female, Gene Silencing, Humans, Male, Stochastic Processes, Transcription Factors, Transgenes, X Chromosome, X Chromosome Inactivation

ID: 17469816