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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Tsix, X chromosome inactivation, XCI activator, XCI inhibitor, Xist
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.069328, hdl.handle.net/1765/74722
Journal Development (Cambridge)
Barakat, T.S, & Gribnau, J.H. (2012). X chromosome inactivation in the cycle of life. Development (Cambridge), 139(12), 2085–2089. doi:10.1242/dev.069328