Mechanisms and consequences of widespread random monoallelic expression

Nat Rev Genet. 2012 May 15;13(6):421-8. doi: 10.1038/nrg3239.


Although random monoallelic expression has been known for decades to affect genes on the X chromosome in female placental mammals, until a few years ago it was thought that there were few autosomal genes that were regulated in this manner. New tools for assaying gene expression genome-wide are now revealing that there are perhaps more genes that are subject to random monoallelic expression on mammalian autosomes than there are on the X chromosome and that these expression properties are achieved by diverse molecular mechanisms. This mode of expression has the potential to have an impact on natural selection and on the evolution of gene families.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Selection, Genetic
  • X Chromosome Inactivation / genetics*