Absence of correlation between late-replication and spreading of X inactivation in an X;autosome translocation

Hum Genet. 2001 Sep;109(3):295-302. doi: 10.1007/s004390100578.


We have analysed the spread of X inactivation in an individual with an unbalanced 46,X,der(X)t(X;10)(q26.3;q23.3) karyotype. Despite being trisomic for the region 10q23.3-qter, both the proband and her aunt with the same karyotype presented only with secondary amenorrhoea and lacked any features normally associated with trisomy of distal 10q. Cytogenetic and molecular studies showed that the derivative X;10 chromosome was exclusively inactive. Transcribed polymorphisms were identified in five genes contained within the translocated region of chromosome 10 and were used to perform allele-specific transcription studies. We showed that four of the genes studied are inactive on the derivative chromosome, directly demonstrating the spread of X inactivation over some 30 Mb of autosomal DNA. However, the most distal gene examined remained active, indicating that this spreading was incomplete. In contrast to the gene expression data, replication timing studies showed no spreading of late replication into the translocated portion of 10q. We conclude that silencing of autosomal genes by X inactivation can occur without a delay in the replication timing of the surrounding chromatin. Our findings support the hypothesis that autosomal chromatin lacks certain features present on the X chromosome that are required for the effective spread and/or maintenance of X inactivation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amenorrhea / genetics
  • Chromosome Painting
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 10*
  • DNA Replication / genetics
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Translocation, Genetic*
  • X Chromosome*