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Genomics. 2006 Dec;88(6):675-81. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

X chromosome gene expression in human tissues: male and female comparisons.

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  • 1Section of Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA.


About 25% of X-linked genes may escape inactivation at least to some degree. However, in vitro results from somatic cell hybrids may not reflect what happens in vivo. Therefore, we analyzed the female/male (F/M) gene fold expression ratio for 299 X-linked and 7795 autosomal genes from 11 different tissues from an existing in vivo microarray database. On average 5.1 and 4.9% of genes showed higher expression in females compared with 7.4 and 7.9% in males, respectively, for X-linked and autosomal genes. A trend was found for F/M gene fold ratios greater than 1.5 for several X-linked genes indicating overexpression in females among multiple tissues. Nine X-linked genes showed overexpression in females in at least 3 of the 11 studied tissues. Of the 9 genes, 6 were located on the short arm and 3 on the long arm of the X chromosome. Six of the 9 genes have previously been reported to escape X inactivation. However, in general, no consistent pattern was seen for the expression of X-linked genes between in vitro and in vivo systems. This study indicates that factors other than the X-inactivation process may impact on the expression of X-linked genes resulting in an overall similar gender expression for both X-linked and autosomal genes.

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