X-chromosome inactivation and escape

J Genet. 2015 Dec;94(4):591-9. doi: 10.1007/s12041-015-0574-1.


X-chromosome inactivation, which was discovered by Mary Lyon in 1961 results in random silencing of one X chromosome in female mammals. This review is dedicated to Mary Lyon, who passed away last year. She predicted many of the features of X inactivation, for e.g., the existence of an X inactivation center, the role of L1 elements in spreading of silencing and the existence of genes that escape X inactivation. Starting from her published work here we summarize advances in the field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Silencing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • X Chromosome / genetics*
  • X Chromosome Inactivation / genetics*