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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2006 Jun;16(3):240-5. Epub 2006 May 2.

Genomic and epigenomic approaches to the study of X chromosome inactivation.

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  • 1Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University, 101 Science Drive, CIEMAS 2376, Durham, NC 27708, USA.


X chromosome inactivation represents a compelling example of chromosome-wide, long-range epigenetic gene-silencing in mammals. The cis- and trans-acting factors that establish and maintain the patterns and levels of gene expression from the active and inactive X chromosomes remain incompletely understood; however, the availability of the complete genomic sequence of the human X chromosome, together with complementary approaches that explore the computational biology, epigenetic modifications and gene expression-profiling along the chromosome, suggests that the features of the X chromosome that are responsible for its unique forms of gene regulation are increasingly amenable to experimental analysis.

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