X-chromosome silencing in the germline of C. elegans.

Authors:
Kelly WG, Schaner CE, Dernburg AF, Lee MH, Kim SK, Villeneuve AM, Reinke V
Associated Labs:
Kelly Lab (Emory University)
Development. 2002 Jan . 129(2):479-92.
PMID: 11807039
Germline maintenance in the nematode C. elegans requires global repressive mechanisms that involve chromatin organization. During meiosis, the X chromosome in both sexes exhibits a striking reduction of histone modifications that correlate with transcriptional activation when compared with the genome as a whole. The histone modification spectrum on the X chromosome corresponds with a lack of transcriptional competence, as measured by reporter transgene arrays. The X chromosome in XO males is structurally analogous to the sex body in mammals, contains a histone modification associated with heterochromatin in other species and is inactivated throughout meiosis. The synapsed X chromosomes in hermaphrodites also appear to be silenced in early meiosis, but genes on the X chromosome are detectably expressed at later stages of oocyte meiosis. Silencing of the sex chromosome during early meiosis is a conserved feature throughout the nematode phylum, and is not limited to hermaphroditic species.

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