Reactivation of the Paternal X Chromosome in Early Mouse Embryos

Winifred Mak, Tatyana B. Nesterova, Mariana De Napoles, Ruth Appanah, Shinya Yamanaka, Arie P. Otte, Neil Brockdorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

405 Scopus citations


It is generally accepted that paternally imprinted X inactivation occurs exclusively in extraembryonic lineages of mouse embryos, whereas cells of the embryo proper, derived from the inner cell mass (ICM), undergo only random X inactivation. Here we show that imprinted X inactivation, in fact, occurs in all cells of early embryos and that the paternal X is then selectively reactivated in cells allocated to the ICM. This contrasts with more differentiated cell types where X inactivation is highly stable and generally irreversible. Our observations illustrate that an important component of genome plasticity in early development is the capacity to reverse heritable gene silencing decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-669
Number of pages4
Issue number5658
StatePublished - Jan 30 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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