Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 34312245
Link to DOI – 10.1101/cshperspect.a040196
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2021 Jul; ():
In female eutherian mammals, dosage compensation of X-linked gene expression is achieved during development through transcriptional silencing of one of the two X chromosomes. Following X chromosome inactivation (XCI), the inactive X chromosome remains faithfully silenced throughout somatic cell divisions. XCI is dependent on Xist, a long noncoding RNA that coats and silences the X chromosome from which it is transcribed. Xist coating triggers a cascade of chromosome-wide changes occurring at the levels of transcription, chromatin composition, chromosome structure, and spatial organization within the nucleus. XCI has emerged as a paradigm for the study of such crucial nuclear processes and the dissection of their functional interplay. In the past decade, the advent of tools to characterize and perturb these processes have provided an unprecedented understanding into their roles during XCI. The mechanisms orchestrating the initiation of XCI as well as its maintenance are thus being unraveled, although many questions still remain. Here, we introduce key aspects of the XCI process and review the recent discoveries about its molecular basis.