A study published in the January issue of Nature Genetics finds that genes present on the X chromosome are expressed at approximately the same level as those found on non-sex chromosomes (or autosomes).
Christine Disteche and Di Nguyen compared the expression levels of genes present on the X chromosome to those found on autosomes. While only one active copy of the X chromosome is present in individual cells, there are two copies of autosomes. This work shows that there is functional dosage compensation for the single copy of genes on the X chromosome, at the level of expression of these genes. While regulation of expression of genes on the X chromosome has been found previously in other animals, including Drosophila, this is the first example of this occurring in mammals including humans.
Christine Disteche (University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Genetics press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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