Xist RNA, which is responsible for X inactivation, is a key epigenetic player in the embryogenesis of female mammals. Of the several repeats conserved in Xist RNA, the A-repeat has been shown to be essential for its silencing function in differentiating embryonic stem cells. Here, we introduced a new Xist allele into mouse that produces mutated Xist RNA lacking the A-repeat (XistCAGΔ5′). XistCAGΔ5′ RNA expressed in the embryo coated the X chromosome but failed to silence it. Although imprinted X inactivation was substantially compromised upon paternal transmission, allele-specific RNA-seq in the trophoblast revealed that XistCAGΔ5′ RNA still retained some silencing ability. Furthermore, the failure of imprinted X inactivation had more significant impacts than expected on genome-wide gene expression. It is likely that dosage compensation is required not only for equalizing X-linked gene expression between the sexes but also for proper global gene regulation in differentiated female somatic cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology