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Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1991;56(2):87-90.

Random/nonrandom X-chromosome inactivation in Nesokia indica: possible influence of heterochromatin.

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Department of Genetics, University of Delhi, India.


Five types of X chromosomes with different amounts of heterochromatin have been observed in Nesokia indica, the Indian mole rat. They have been found in both mosaic and nonmosaic individuals. The influence, if any, of heterochromatin on the kinetics of X-chromosome DNA replication was evaluated in bone marrow cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes of Nesokia females with variant X chromosomes. In bone marrow cells of nonmosaic females a random X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) pattern was observed, except when there was a total loss of heterochromatin from the variant X chromosome, resulting in predominantly early replication. A nonrandom pattern was observed, however, in blood and bone marrow cells of all individuals with mosaic genotypes. In these females the X chromosome with the lesser amount of heterochromatin was predominantly the active one. The amount of heterochromatin per se or, more likely, specific sequences contained in the heterochromatic region seem to influence the XCI pattern in a cis-acting manner. The observations also seem to support a process of cell selection in individuals with variant X chromosomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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