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Chromosome Res. 2014 Dec;22(4):505-15. doi: 10.1007/s10577-014-9438-4. Epub 2014 Aug 8.

A new player in X identification: the CLAMP protein is a key factor in Drosophila dosage compensation.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912, USA.


Dosage compensation adjusts the expression levels of genes on one or both targeted sex chromosomes in heterogametic species. This process results in the normalized transcriptional output of important and essential gene families encoded on multiple chromosomes. The mechanisms of dosage compensation have been studied in many model organisms, including Drosophila melanogaster (fly), Caenorhabditis elegans (worm), and Mus musculus (mouse). Although the mechanisms of dosage compensations differ among these species, all of these processes rely on the initial discrimination of the X chromosome from autosomes. Recently, a new paradigm for how the X chromosome is targeted for regulation was identified in Drosophila. This mechanism involves a newly identified zinc finger protein, CLAMP. Here, we review important factors involved in dosage compensation across species with special focus on the fly. Understanding how the newly identified CLAMP protein is involved in X targeting in the fly could provide key insights into how the X chromosome is initially identified across species.

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