Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The not-so-silent X

The X chromosome has been thought to be mostly silent after meiosis in males. A new study reports that this is not the case for a set of multicopy genes often arranged in giant palindromes and highly expressed in spermatids.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: X chromosome expression in male meiosis.


  1. Turner, J.M. Development 134, 1823–1831 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Mueller, J.L. et al. Nat. Genet. 40, 794–799 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Khil, P.P., Smirnova, N.A., Romanienko, P.J. & Camerini-Otero, R.D. Nat. Genet. 36, 642–646 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Ross, M.T. et al. Nature 434, 325–337 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Wang, P.J., McCarrey, J.R., Yang, F. & Page, D.C. Nat. Genet. 27, 422–426 (2001).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Vicoso, B. & Charlesworth, B. Nat. Rev. Genet. 7, 645–653 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Namekawa, S.H. et al. Curr. Biol. 16, 660–667 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Nguyen, D.K. & Disteche, C.M. Nat. Genet. 38, 47–53 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Khalil, A.M., Boyar, F.Z. & Driscoll, D.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 16583–16587 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Wang, P.J. Trends Endocrinol. Metab. 15, 79–83 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Maclean, J.A., II et al. Cell 120, 369–382 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Reynard, L.N. et al. Biol. Reprod. 77, 329–335 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Warburton, P.E., Giordano, J., Cheung, F., Gelfand, Y. & Benson, G. Genome Res. 14, 1861–1869 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Skaletsky, H. et al. Nature 423, 825–837 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Heard, E. & Disteche, C.M. Genes Dev. 20, 1848–1867 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Disteche, C. The not-so-silent X. Nat Genet 40, 689–690 (2008).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing