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Impeding Xist Expression from the Active X Chromosome Improves Mouse Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

Science  22 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6003, pp. 496-499
DOI: 10.1126/science.1194174

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Abstract

Cloning mammals by means of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is highly inefficient because of erroneous reprogramming of the donor genome. Reprogramming errors appear to arise randomly, but the nature of nonrandom, SCNT-specific errors remains elusive. We found that Xist, a noncoding RNA that inactivates one of the two X chromosomes in females, was ectopically expressed from the active X (Xa) chromosome in cloned mouse embryos of both sexes. Deletion of Xist on Xa showed normal global gene expression and resulted in about an eight- to ninefold increase in cloning efficiency. We also identified an Xist-independent mechanism that specifically down-regulated a subset of X-linked genes through somatic-type repressive histone blocks. Thus, we have identified nonrandom reprogramming errors in mouse cloning that can be altered to improve the efficiency of SCNT methods.

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