Barring gene expression after XIST: maintaining facultative heterochromatin on the inactive X.


Journal Article (Review)

X chromosome inactivation refers to the developmentally regulated process of silencing gene expression from all but one X chromosome per cell in female mammals in order to equalize the levels of X chromosome derived gene expression between the sexes. While much attention has focused on the genetic and epigenetic events early in development that initiate the inactivation process, it is also important to understand the events that ensure maintenance of the inactive state through subsequent cell divisions. Gene silencing at the inactive X chromosome is irreversible in somatic cells and is achieved through the formation of facultative heterochromatin (visible as the Barr body) that is remarkably stable and faithfully preserved. Here we review the many features of inactive X chromatin in terminally differentiated cells and address the highly redundant mechanisms of maintaining the inactive X chromatin.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Chadwick, BP; Willard, HF

Published Date

  • December 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 359 - 367

PubMed ID

  • 15015743

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15015743

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-3634

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1084-9521

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.semcdb.2003.09.016


  • eng