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Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Jan;8(1):47-57.

Dosage compensation: the beginning and end of generalization.

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  • 1Adolf Butenandt Institute, Department of Molecular Biology, Ludwig Maximilians University, 80336 Munich, Germany.


The genomes of higher eukaryotes are carefully balanced systems of gene expression that compensate for the different numbers of sex chromosomes in the two sexes by adjusting gene expression levels. Different strategies for sex chromosome dosage compensation have evolved, which all involve modulating chromatin structure as a means to fine-tune transcription levels. As data accumulate, previous over-simplifications are being revised, and novel features of the compensation processes are gaining attention, many of which are of sufficient global validity to influence our view on gene expression beyond the realm of dosage compensation itself.

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