Developmental progression of Gpd expression from the inactive X chromosome of the virginia opossum

Paul B. Samollow, Edwards S. Robinson, Allen L. Ford, John L. Vandeberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    16 Scopus citations


    Metatherian (marsupial) mammals possess a non‐random form of X‐chromosome inactivation in which the paternally‐derived X is always the one inactivated. To examine the progression of X‐linked gene expression during metatherian development, we compared relative levels of the maternally and paternally encoded Gpd gene products in heterozygous female Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) across a moior portion of the developmental period. Panels of tissues obtained from fetuses, newborns, and pouch young were examined via polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the G6PD protein. As in adults, G6PD phenotypes in these developmental stages were highly skewed in favor of the maternal allele product, but in some tissues there was a marked increase in paternal allele expression with advancing developmental age. However, even by 42 days of post‐partum development, expression of the paternal Gpd allele had not attained the adult, tissue‐specific activity pattern. Our findings indicate remarkable developmental changes in the activity of the paternal allele in several tissues/organs continuing well into mid pouch‐life stages and beyond. Specifically we found that 1) a substantially repressed paternal Gpdgene is present in the cells of female stage 29 fetuses and later developmental stages, 2) the activity state of the paternal Gpd gene is not fixed during early embryonic development in this species, 3) maior changes in paternal Gpd expression occur in advanced developmental stages and comprise a maturation of the gene expression pattern during ontogeny, and 4) alterations of paternal Gpd allele activity during development occur in a tissue‐specific manner. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)367-374
    Number of pages8
    JournalDevelopmental Genetics
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1995


    • Gpd expression
    • X‐chromosome inactivation
    • development
    • marsupial
    • opossum
    • triplaid

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Genetics
    • Developmental Biology
    • Cell Biology


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