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The “lnc” between 3D chromatin structure and X chromosome inactivation


The long non-coding RNA Xist directs a remarkable instance of developmentally regulated, epigenetic change known as X Chromosome Inactivation (XCI). By spreading in cis across the X chromosome from which it is expressed, Xist RNA facilitates the creation of a heritably silent, heterochromatic nuclear territory that displays a three-dimensional structure distinct from that of the active X chromosome. How Xist RNA attaches to and propagates across a chromosome and its influence over the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the inactive X are aspects of XCI that have remained largely unclear. Here, we discuss studies that have made significant contributions towards answering these open questions.

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