Expression of Xist in mouse germ cells correlates with X–chromosome inactivation

John R. McCarrey, Donald D. Dilworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Mammals compensate for different doses of X–chromosome–linked genes in male (XY) and female (XX) somatic cells by terminally inactivating all but one X chromosome in each cell. A transiently inactive X chromosome is also found in germ cells, specifically in premeiotic oogenic cells and in meiotic and postmeiotic spermatogenic cells. Here we show that the Xist gene, which is a expressed predominantly from the inactive X–chromosome in female somatic cells, is also expressed in germ cells of both sexes, but only at those stages when an inactive X chromosome is present. This suggests support for the putative role of Xist as a regulator of X–chromosome inactivation and suggest a common mechanism for the initiation and/or maintenance of X–chromosome inactivation in all cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-203
Number of pages4
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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