Do X Chromosomes Set Boundaries?

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Science  11 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5553, pp. 287-288
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068663

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In cells of the developing female embryo, genes on one of the two X chromosomes must be shut down. A noncoding gene called Xist and its antisense repressor Tsix are involved in the silencing process. However, it remains unclear how the female cell chooses which X chromosome to inactivate. In their Perspective, Percec and Bartolomei discuss new work ( Chao et al.) that identifies a transcription regulator, CTCF, that cooperates with Tsix to help the cell make this choice.