Mitotically stable association of polycomb group proteins Eed and Enx1 with the inactive X chromosome in trophoblast stem cells

Winifred Mak, Jonathon Baxter, Jose Silva, Alistair E. Newall, Arie P. Otte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations

Abstract

X inactivation in female mammals is one of the best studied examples of heritable gene silencing and provides an important model for studying maintenance of patterns of gene expression during differentiation and development [1]. The process is initiated by a cis-acting RNA the X inactive specific transcript (Xist). Xist RNA is thought to recruit silencing complexes to the inactive X which then serve to establish and maintain the inactive state in all subsequent cell divisions [2-4]. Most lineages undergo random X inactivation there being an equal probability of either the maternally (Xm) or paternally (Xp) inherited X chromosome being inactivated in a given cell [5]. In the extra-embryonic trophectoderm and primitive endoderm lineages of mouse embryos however there is imprinted X inactivation of Xp [6]. This process is also Xist dependent [7]. A recent study has shown that imprinted X inactivation in trophectoderm is not maintained in embryonic ectoderm development (eed) mutant mice [8]. Here we show that Eed and a second Polycomb group protein Enx1 are directly localized to the inactive X chromosome in XX trophoblast stem (TS) cells. The association of Eed/Enx1 complexes is mitotically stable suggesting a mechanism for the maintenance of imprinted X inactivation in these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1020
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 25 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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