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Chromosome Res. 2000;8(6):513-25.

Common methylation characteristics of sex chromosomes in somatic and germ cells from mouse, lemur and human.

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Laboratoire d'étude de la Radiosensibilité des Cellules Germinales, Département de Radiobiologie et Radiopathologie, Fontenay-aux-roses, France.


DNA methylation of sex chromosomes was analysed using anti-5-methylcytosine antibodies on metaphase chromosomes of somatic cells from three species: human, lemur and mouse. Germ cells were also studied in male mouse. In female cells (human and mouse), the late replicating X was always the less methylated chromosome. Compared with autosomes, the methylation of both X chromosomes was always lower in fibroblasts than in lymphocytes and the difference was always greater in mouse than in human. In human, mouse and lemur male cells, the labelling of the unique X chromosome was quite similar to that of the early replicating X from female cells. Except for the heterochromatic region of the human Y chromosome, strongly methylated, the overall methylation of the Y chromosome was low. In mouse testicular cells, a variety of DNA methylation patterns was observed according to the cell type and the state of differentiation. Finally, the only structures of sex chromosomes which remain methylated in all conditions correspond to their pseudoautosomal regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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