Review Article | Published:

Transcriptional control of a whole chromosome: emerging models for dosage compensation

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology volume 21, pages 118125 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Males and females of many animal species differ in their sex-chromosome karyotype, and this creates imbalances between X-chromosome and autosomal gene products that require compensation. Although distinct molecular mechanisms have evolved in three highly studied systems, they all achieve coordinate regulation of an entire chromosome by differential RNA-polymerase occupancy at X-linked genes. High-throughput genome-wide methods have been pivotal in driving the latest progress in the field. Here we review the emerging models for dosage compensation in mammals, flies and nematodes, with a focus on mechanisms affecting RNA polymerase II activity on the X chromosome.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to G. Csankovszki, J.T. Lee, T.R. Magnuson, B.J. Meyer, B. Alver and D. Day for critical reading of the manuscript. Our research on dosage compensation is supported by the US National Institutes of Health (GM45744 to M.I.K.).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Center for Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Francesco Ferrari
    •  & Peter J Park
  2. Department of Medicine, Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Artyom A Alekseyenko
    • , Peter J Park
    •  & Mitzi I Kuroda
  3. Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Artyom A Alekseyenko
    •  & Mitzi I Kuroda

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mitzi I Kuroda.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.2763

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