Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The extent of methylation of DNA sequences upstream and within the two X-linked genes,Pgk-1 andHprt, was analyzed in male and female somatic cells and in female embryonal carcinoma cells carrying either two active X chromosomes (Xa) or one active and one inactive X chromosome (Xi). Sites upstream and within the first intron of bothPgk-1 andHprt were heavily methylated on the Xi in somatic cells and in embryonal carcinoma cells with an Xi. Reactivation of this Xi was accompanied by extensive demethylation of these sites. In female embryonal carcinoma cells with two active X chromosomes, one X inactivates during differentiation in culture; however, methylation did not occur during differentiation, consistent with the idea that DNA methylation does not play a role in the initiation of X inactivation but may be involved in maintaining inactivation of those genes on the Xi.
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