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J Biol. 2008 Oct 27;7(8):30. doi: 10.1186/jbiol95.

X-chromosome inactivation: the molecular basis of silencing.

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  • Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. bpanning@biochem.ucsf.edu


X-chromosome inactivation occurs randomly for one of the two X chromosomes in female cells during development. Inactivation occurs when RNA transcribed from the Xist gene on the X chromosome from which it is expressed spreads to coat the whole X chromosome. In the first issue of Epigenetics and Chromatin, Nesterova and colleagues investigate the role of the RNA interference pathway enzyme Dicer in DNA methylation of the Xist promoter.

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