Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In XX female mammals a single X chromosome is inactivated early in embryonic development, a process that is required to equalise X-linked gene dosage relative to XY males. X inactivation is regulated by a cis-acting master switch, the Xist locus, the product of which is a large non-coding RNA that coats the chromosome from which it is transcribed, triggering recruitment of chromatin modifying factors that establish and maintain gene silencing chromosome wide. Chromosome coating and Xist RNA-mediated silencing remain poorly understood, both at the level of RNA sequence determinants and interacting factors. Here, we describe analysis of a novel targeted mutation, Xist(INV), designed to test the function of a conserved region located in exon 1 of Xist RNA during X inactivation in mouse. We show that Xist(INV) is a strong hypomorphic allele that is appropriately regulated but compromised in its ability to silence X-linked loci in cis. Inheritance of Xist(INV) on the paternal X chromosome results in embryonic lethality due to failure of imprinted X inactivation in extra-embryonic lineages. Female embryos inheriting Xist(INV) on the maternal X chromosome undergo extreme secondary non-random X inactivation, eliminating the majority of cells that express the Xist(INV) allele. Analysis of cells that express Xist(INV) RNA demonstrates reduced association of the mutant RNA to the X chromosome, suggesting that conserved sequences in the inverted region are important for Xist RNA localisation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1541 - 1550


Animals, Blotting, Northern, Cells, Cultured, Exons, Female, Fibroblasts, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Genes, X-Linked, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Male, Mice, RNA, Long Noncoding, RNA, Untranslated, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, X Chromosome Inactivation