Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is mediated by the non-coding RNA Xist which directs chromatin modification and gene silencing in cis. The RNA binding protein SPEN and associated corepressors have a central role in Xist-mediated gene silencing. Other silencing factors, notably the Polycomb system, have been reported to function downstream of SPEN. In recent work we found that SPEN has an additional role in correct localisation of Xist RNA in cis, indicating that its contribution to chromatin-mediated gene silencing needs to be reappraised. Making use of a SPEN separation-of-function mutation we show that SPEN and Polycomb pathways in fact function in parallel to establish gene silencing. Additionally, we find that differentiation-dependent recruitment of the chromosomal protein SmcHD1 is required for silencing many X-linked genes. Our results provide important insights into the mechanism of X inactivation and the coordination of chromatin-based gene regulation with cellular differentiation and development.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell Reports

Publisher

Elsevier (Cell Press)

Publication Date

04/05/2022