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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jun 5;383(3):378-82. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.04.021. Epub 2009 Apr 11.

Evidence that the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway participates in X chromosome dosage compensation in mammals.

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Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, People's Republic of China.


Current models of X chromosome dosage compensation are usually framed by reference to how regulation in transcriptional level elevates the gene expression of the active X chromosome. This framework, however, might be oversimplified because regulation of gene expression can also act at the post-transcriptional level. Here, after a genome-wide survey, we find that autosomal genes are more likely subject to nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) than X-linked genes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that after NMD inhibition, balanced gene expression between X chromosome and autosomes is corrupted such that the global mean X/autosome gene expression ratio is decreased by 10-15%. Our results identify NMD as a post-transcription-level regulatory mechanism that contributes to the observed fine-tuning of X chromosome dosage compensation in mammals.

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