Research Article

Epigenetic Dynamics of Imprinted X Inactivation During Early Mouse Development

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Science  30 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5658, pp. 644-649
DOI: 10.1126/science.1092727

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Abstract

The initiation of X-chromosome inactivation is thought to be tightly correlated with early differentiation events during mouse development. Here, we show that although initially active, the paternal X chromosome undergoes imprinted inactivation from the cleavage stages, well before cellular differentiation. A reversal of the inactive state, with a loss of epigenetic marks such as histone modifications and polycomb proteins, subsequently occurs in cells of the inner cell mass (ICM), which give rise to the embryo-proper in which random X inactivation is known to occur. This reveals the remarkable plasticity of the X-inactivation process during preimplantation development and underlines the importance of the ICM in global reprogramming of epigenetic marks in the early embryo.

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