X-chromosome Inactivation (x-chromosome + inactivation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


EVOLUTION, Issue 3 2006
David Haig
Abstract A model is proposed for the evolution of X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in which natural selection initially favors the silencing of paternally derived alleles of X-linked demand inhibitors. The compensatory upregulation of maternally derived alleles establishes a requirement for monoallelic expression in females. For this reason, XCI is self-reinforcing once established. However, inactivation of a particular X chromosome is not. Random XCI (rXCI) is favored over paternal XCI because rXCI reduces the costs of functional hemizygosity in females. Once present, rXCI favors the evolution of locus-by-locus imprinting of X-linked loci, which creates an evolutionary dynamic in which different chromosomes compete to remain active. [source]

Clonal analysis of cutaneous fibrous histiocytoma (dermatofibroma)

Pei Hui
Background:, Dermatofibroma (DF) or cutaneous fibrous histiocytoma is a common benign fibrohistiocytic lesion involving the dermis and subcutis. Histologically, it is subclassified into fibroblastic and histiocytoid forms. Its histogenesis is controversial. While often referred to as a neoplastic process, definite evidence of neoplasia in DF has been lacking. Alternatively, some authorities have suggested that DF is a fibrosing inflammatory process. Diagnostically, the most important question faced is the distinction from dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). Misdiagnosis can occur, as the early phase of DFSP can simulate DF, particularly the deep and cellular forms of DF. Methods:, To address this issue, and to investigate whether DF is in fact a neoplasm, we evaluated 31 examples of DF of various histological types in female patients and assessed clonality by analyzing X-chromosome inactivation as indicated by the methylation status of the androgen receptor gene (HUMARA). Representative cases of DFSP were analyzed for comparison. Results:, Among the selected 31 cases of DF, 24 cases provided intact DNA and informative polymorphism at the AR alleles, including one case of recurrent deep fibrous histiocytoma. Among these 24 cases, randomly inactivated AR alleles were observed in 17 cases including a deep, recurrent fibroblastic DF. A non-random inactivation at AR alleles was observed in seven cases, of which six cases showed either typical histiocytoid form of DF (four cases) or mixed cell types with predominant histiocytoid cell type (two cases). One fibroblastic DF also showed a monoclonal pattern. HUMARA analysis of DFSP revealed non-random inactivation of polymorphic AR alleles. Conclusions:, These findings suggest that DF is a heterogeneous process. Monoclonal genotype was found in DFs with histiocytoid or mixed type with predominant histiocytoid features, suggesting that histiocytoid cells probably represent the neoplastic component. The fibroblastic form of DF may represent a reactive fibroblastic proliferation. Alternatively, it may represent a true neoplasm whose neoplastic cell type has been obscured by prominent reactive fibroblastic component. [source]

DNA Methylation, Genomic Silencing, and Links to Nutrition and Cancer

Dale C. McCabe
DNA methylation is a heritable epigenetic feature that is associated with transcriptional silencing, X-chromosome inactivation, genetic imprinting, and genomic stability. The addition of the methyl group is catalyzed by a family of DNA methyltransferases whose cosubstrates are DNA and S-adenosylmethionine, the latter being derived from the methionine cycle. Aberrant DNA methylation is linked to numerous pathologies, including cancer. The purpose of this review is to describe DNA methylation and its functions, to examine the relationship between dietary methyl insufficiency and DNA methylation, and to evaluate the associations between DNA methylation and cancer. [source]

Non-identical monozygotic twins, intermediate twin types, zygosity testing, and the non-random nature of monozygotic twinning: A review,

Geoffrey Machin
Abstract Monozygotic twins (MZ) are rarely absolutely "identical." This review discusses the types of genetic/epigenetic and prenatal environmental post-zygotic mechanisms that cause discordance within such twin pairs. Some of these mechanisms,ranging from heterokaryotypia to skewed X-chromosome inactivation,may cause extreme discordance, but these extremes are merely the more emphatic examples of discordance that, to some degree, underlies the majority of MZ twin pairs. Because of the entrenched misconception that MZ twins are necessarily identical, many MZ twin pairs are mistakenly designated as dizygotic (DZ). Clinical benefits to accurate zygosity determination include correct solid organ transplantation matching, if one twin requires donation for a non-genetically mediated disease; the opportunity of preventive management for disorders that do not manifest synchronously; and better counseling to parents regarding their individually unique, and often psychologically puzzling, twin offspring. In twin pairs with complex and confusing biological origins, more detailed zygosity testing may be required. For example, intermediate trigametic and tetragametic chimeric dizygotic twins are reviewed, some of whom are, nevertheless, monochorionic (MC). Because of inter-fetal vascular anastomoses in MC twins, genetic results from blood samples may not accurately reflect discordance in solid organs. Previously, it was thought that MZ twinning was some sort of embryological fluke. However, familial monozygotic twinning is more common than suggested by the literature. Seven new families are presented in an accompanying paper. Despite the difficulties and dangers of twin pregnancy (especially so for MC twins), human twinning persists, and continues to both challenge and fascinate parents, clinicians and geneticists. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

De novo duplication of MECP2 in a girl with mental retardation and no obvious dysmorphic features

P Makrythanasis
Makrythanasis P, Moix I, Gimelli S, Fluss J, Aliferis K, Antonarakis SE, Morris MA, Béna F, Bottani A. De novo duplication of MECP2 in a girl with mental retardation and no obvious dysmorphic features. Loss-of-function mutations of MECP2 are responsible for Rett syndrome (RTT), an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder affecting mainly girls. The availability of MECP2 testing has led to the identification of such mutations in girls with atypical RTT features and the recognition of milder forms. Furthermore, duplication of the entire gene has recently been described in boys with mental retardation and recurrent infections. We describe a girl with a heterozygous de novo MECP2 duplication. The patient, at the age of 19, has mental retardation with no autistic features. She is friendly but gets frequently anxious. She has neither dysmorphic features nor malformations. Her motor development was delayed with walking at 20 months. Speech is fluid with good pronunciation but is simple and repetitive. Diagnosis was made after single-strand conformation analysis (SSCA) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis of MECP2. Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) analysis showed a duplication of 29 kb including MECP2 and part of IRAK1. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) has revealed that the duplicated region is inserted near the telomere of the short arm of chromosome 10. X-chromosome inactivation in leukocyte DNA was not skewed. We conclude that it is likely that this MECP2 duplication is responsible for the mental retardation in this patient. This case broadens the phenotypic spectrum of MECP2 abnormalities with consequent implication in diagnosis and genetic counselling of girls with non-syndromic mental retardation. [source]