Co-evolution of X-chromosome inactivation and imprinting in mammals

Nat Rev Genet. 2005 May;6(5):403-10. doi: 10.1038/nrg1602.


Recent studies have revealed mechanistic parallels between imprinted X-chromosome inactivation and autosomal imprinting. We suggest that neither mechanism was present in ancestral egg-laying mammals, and that both arose when the evolution of the placenta exerted selective pressure to imprint growth-related genes. We also propose that non-coding RNAs and histone modifications were adopted for the imprinting of growth suppressors on the X chromosome and on autosomes. This provides a unified hypothesis for the evolution of X-chromosome inactivation and imprinting.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • Mammals / genetics
  • X Chromosome / genetics*