In many animals, males have one X and females have two X chromosomes. The difference in X chromosome dosage between the two sexes is compensated by mechanisms that regulate X chromosome transcription. Recent advances in genomic techniques have provided new insights into the molecular mechanisms of X chromosome dosage compensation. In this review, I summarize our current understanding of dosage imbalance in general, and then review the molecular mechanisms of X chromosome dosage compensation with an emphasis on the parallels and differences between the three well-studied model systems, M. musculus, D. melanogaster and C. elegans.
Keywords: X chromosomes; mechanisms.