X chromosome inactivation in human cells

Published on March 31, 2010 Reviewed on June 29, 2016   48 min

Other Talks in the Series: Epigenetics

I am Barbara Migeon, a member of the McKusick Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins. The title of my talk is X Chromosome Inactivation in Human Cell.
I will talk to you about X chromosome inactivation, the way mammals carry out X dosage compensation. This has been the subject of previous talks by Mary Lyon and Jenny Graves. Although we hear a lot about how the mouse inactivates one X chromosome, I will be talking about the version of X chromosome inactivation in our own species. First I will tell you what we know from studies of human cells and human subjects. Then I will talk about how inactivating human X chromosomes differ from the process in other species and what might be responsible for such differences. And last, changing the focus from inactive to active X, I will tell you why diploid human cells have only a single active X, no matter the number of Xs in the cell and how this active X is chosen.