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Developmental biology: The X-inactivation yo-yo

Tuần này tờ Nature có hai bài khá hấp dẫn liên quan đến Sinh học tế bào và sinh học phát triển. Mời các bạn có hứng thú hãy tham gia chuyển ngữ các bài này vừa giúp bạn nâng cao English vừa để tiếp cận khoa học thế giới.

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Nature 438, 297-298 (17 November 2005) | doi:10.1038/438297a

Developmental biology: The X-inactivation yo-yo

Wolf Reik1 and Anne C. Ferguson-Smith2

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Abstract
In female mammals, one of two X chromosomes has to be shut down during early development. To what extent does this 'imprinted X-chromosome inactivation' involve the history of the chromosome?

In most mammals, males have the male sex-determining Y chromosome and a single X chromosome, whereas females have two X chromosomes. In females, the resulting imbalance in the 'dosage' of genes on the X chromosomes needs to be compensated so that gene expression from the X chromosome is equivalent in males and females. Mammals have evolved a unique form of dosage compensation, called X-chromosome inactivation, in which one of the two X chromosomes in female cells is silenced epigenetically1 — that is, by factors such as chemical modification of the DNA, or of the histone proteins that package DNA into chromosomes, often involving non-coding RNAs. Many aspects of mammalian X inactivation remain mysterious. But through elegant studies in the mouse, Okamoto and colleagues (page 369 of this issue)2 have unravelled some of the earliest events in the process.
 

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