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X-chromosome inactivation in mammals is a regulatory phenomenon whereby one of the two X chromosomes in female cells is genetically inactivated, resulting in dosage compensation for X-linked genes between males and females. In both man and mouse, X-chromosome inactivation is thought to proceed from a single cis-acting switch region or inactivation centre (XIC/Xic). In the human, XIC has been mapped to band Xq13 (ref. 6) and in the mouse to band XD (ref. 7), and comparative mapping has shown that the XIC regions in the two species are syntenic. The recently described human XIST gene maps to the XIC region and seems to be expressed only from the inactive X chromosome. We report here that the mouse Xist gene maps to the Xic region of the mouse X chromosome and, using an interspecific Mus spretus/Mus musculus domesticus F1 hybrid mouse carrying the T(X;16)16H translocation, show that Xist is exclusively expressed from the inactive X chromosome. Conservation between man and mouse of chromosomal position and unique expression exclusively from the inactive X chromosome lends support to the hypothesis that XIST and its mouse homologue are involved in X-chromosome inactivation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





329 - 331


Animals, Base Sequence, Chromosome Mapping, DNA, Gene Expression, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Oligonucleotide Probes, RNA, Messenger, X Chromosome