X-linked gene expression in metatherian fibroblasts: Evidence from the Gpd and Pgk-A loci of the Virginia opossum and the red-necked wallaby

Paul B. Samollow, Peter G. Johnston, Allen L. Ford, John L. VandeBerg

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    Fibroblasts cultured from ear pinna biopsies of Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) were examined electrophoretically to determine the relative expression levels of the maternally and paternally derived alleles at X-linked, enzyme-coding loci. Only the maternally derived allele was expressed at the Pgk-A locus in fibroblasts of heterozygous D. virginiana (M. rufogriseus not examined), but fibroblasts of both species exhibited evidence of paternal allele expression a t the Gpd locus. Furthermore, the heterozygous G6PD phenotypes in both species were skewed in favor of the maternal gene product, as expected if the paternal allele is only partially (incompletely) expressed. For M. rufogriseus this result is contrary to a previous finding which suggested equal expression of both Gpd alleles in cultured fibroblasts of this species. The present results suggest that X-linked genes in metatherian fibroblasts are subject to the same kind of determinate, paternal allele inactivation, incomplete at some loci, described previously for X-linked genes in adult tissues and that the pattern of paternal X-linked gene expression in these cells is independent of the patterns in the tissues from which the fibroblasts are derived.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)313-320
    Number of pages8
    JournalBiochemical Genetics
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1989



    • X-chromosome inactivation
    • cultured fibroblasts
    • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
    • marsupials
    • phosphoglycerate kinase-A

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Genetics

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