In female mammals, X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is a key process in the control of gene dosage compensation between Xlinked genes and autosomes. Xist and Tsix, two overlapping antisense-transcribed noncoding genes, are central elements of the X inactivation center (Xic) regulating XCI. Xist upregulation results in the coating of the entire X chromosome by Xist RNA in cis, whereas Tsix transcription acts as a negative regulator of Xist. Here, we generated Xist and Tsix reporter mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell lines to study the genetic and dynamic regulation of these genes upon differentiation. Our results revealed mutually antagonistic roles for Tsix on Xist and vice versa and indicate the presence of semistable transcriptional states of the Xic locus predicting the outcome of XCI. These transcriptional states are instructed by the X-to-autosome ratio, directed by regulators of XCI, and can be modulated by tissue culture conditions.,
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Department of Developmental Biology

Loos, F., Maduro, C., Loda, A., Lehmann, J., Kremers, G.-J., ten Berge, D., … Gribnau, J. (2016). Xist and Tsix transcription dynamics is regulated by the X-to-autosome ratio and semistable transcriptional states. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 36(21), 2656–2667. doi:10.1128/MCB.00183-16