Differential spatial and structural organization of the X chromosome underlies dosage compensation in C. elegans

Genes Dev. 2014 Dec 1;28(23):2591-6. doi: 10.1101/gad.248864.114.


The adjustment of X-linked gene expression to the X chromosome copy number (dosage compensation [DC]) has been widely studied as a model of chromosome-wide gene regulation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, DC is achieved by twofold down-regulation of gene expression from both Xs in hermaphrodites. We show that in males, the single X chromosome interacts with nuclear pore proteins, while in hermaphrodites, the DC complex (DCC) impairs this interaction and alters X localization. Our results put forward a structural model of DC in which X-specific sequences locate the X chromosome in transcriptionally active domains in males, while the DCC prevents this in hermaphrodites.

Keywords: C. elegans; dosage compensation; nuclear organization; nuclear pores.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hermaphroditic Organisms / genetics
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • X Chromosome / chemistry*
  • X Chromosome / genetics*