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Hum Genet. 1980;54(2):133-43.

X chromosome constitution and the human female phenotype.


The correlations of abnormal X chromosome constitutions and the resulting phenotypes in the human female are reviewed. The following hypotheses put forward to explain these correlations are discussed in detail: (1) The damage is done before X inactivation; (2) An effect is exerted between reactivation of the X chromosome(s) and meiosis in oocytes; (3) A recessive gene(s) in hemizygous condition might be expressed in the cases in which the same X is active in all cells; (4) A change in the number of presumed active regions on the inactive X chromosomes might have an effect; (5) A position effect, in that the region Xq13-q27 has to be intact in both X chromosomes to allow normal development, may be responsible; (6) An effect during the period when cells with different inactivation patterns compete is a probability; (7) The original X inactivation may be neither regular nor random. The conclusion reached is that the phenotypic effects of a specific X chromosome aberration may be simultaneously exerted through different pathways (Tables 1 and 2). Hypotheses (2), (4), (5), and (6) are considered probable. Hypothesis (3) has been discarded, and there is very little evidence for hypotheses (1) and (7).

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