The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63: 223 - 233 (2019)

Vol 63, Issue 3-4-5

Special Issue: Early mammalian development

Diverse developmental strategies of X chromosome dosage compensation in eutherian mammals

Published: 16 April 2019

Alexander I. Shevchenko*,1,2,3,4, Elena V. Dementyeva1,2,3, Irina S. Zakharova1,2,3 and Suren M. Zakian1,2,3,4

Federal Research Centre “Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences”, Novosibirsk, Russia


In eutherian mammals, dosage compensation arose to balance X-linked gene expression between sexes and relatively to autosomal gene expression in the evolution of sex chromosomes. Dosage compensation occurs in early mammalian development and comprises X chromosome upregulation and inactivation that are tightly coordinated epigenetic processes. Despite a uniform principle of dosage compensation, mechanisms of X chromosome inactivation and upregulation demonstrate a significant variability depending on sex, developmental stage, cell type, individual, and mammalian species. The review focuses on relationships between X chromosome inactivation and upregulation in mammalian early development.


dosage compensation, mammal, X chromosome upregulation, X chromosome inactivation, Xist

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