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Many organisms show major chromosomal differences between sexes. In mammals, females have two copies of a large, gene-rich chromosome, the X, whereas males have one X and a small, gene-poor Y. The imbalance in expression of several hundred genes is lethal if not dealt with by dosage compensation. The male-female difference is addressed by silencing of genes on one female X early in development. However, both males and females now have only one active X chromosome. This is compensated by twofold up-regulation of genes on the active X. This complex system continues to provide important insights into mechanisms of epigenetic regulation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1101/cshperspect.a019406

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol

Publication Date

02/03/2015

Volume

7

Keywords

Animals, Dosage Compensation, Genetic, Evolution, Molecular, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Male, Models, Genetic, Sex Chromosomes, Sex Determination Processes, X Chromosome Inactivation