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Dosage Compensation of the X Chromosome: A Complex Epigenetic Assignment Involving Chromatin Regulators and Long Noncoding RNAs.

Samata, Maria; Akhtar, Asifa.
Annu Rev Biochem; 87: 323-350, 2018 06 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29668306
X chromosome regulation represents a prime example of an epigenetic phenomenon where coordinated regulation of a whole chromosome is required. In flies, this is achieved by transcriptional upregulation of X chromosomal genes in males to equalize the gene dosage differences in females. Chromatin-bound proteins and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) constituting a ribonucleoprotein complex known as the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex or the dosage compensation complex mediate this process. MSL complex members decorate the male X chromosome, and their absence leads to male lethality. The male X chromosome is also enriched with histone H4 lysine 16 acetylation (H4K16ac), indicating that the chromatin compaction status of the X chromosome also plays an important role in transcriptional activation. How the X chromosome is specifically targeted and how dosage compensation is mechanistically achieved are central questions for the field. Here, we review recent advances, which reveal a complex interplay among lncRNAs, the chromatin landscape, transcription, and chromosome conformation that fine-tune X chromosome gene expression.
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