Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16647851
Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 2006 Jun;16(3):246-53
The mammalian X-chromosome exists in two flavors, active and inactive, in each cell of the adult female. This phenomenon originates from the process of random choice occurring early in development in a small number of progenitor cells in which the decision is made to inactivate either one or the other X chromosome on a cell-autonomous basis. Once made, this initial decision is irreversible, although exceptions exist in specific chromosomal territories and cell lineages. Recent findings implicate various factors, including non-coding RNAs and chromatin modification complexes, as effectors in the initiation and maintenance of X-chromosome inactivation. The functional redundancy of such factors almost certainly plays an important role in the stability of the inactive X. Studying skewing or bias opens an important opportunity for understanding facets of the random choice process.