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Evolution of X-chromosome Inactivation

  1. Alexander I Shevchenko,
  2. Suren M Zakian

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020848



How to Cite

Shevchenko, A. I. and Zakian, S. M. 2008. Evolution of X-chromosome Inactivation. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 FEB 2013)


X-chromosome inactivation is a transcriptional silencing of one of the two X chromosomes that occurs in females of marsupial and eutherian mammals. The process arose and developed as a mechanism of dosage compensation during differentiation of mammalian X and Y chromosomes. X inactivation started from being imprinted and unstable in marsupials and then was transformed to random and stabile in eutherians.


  • mammals;
  • X inactivation;
  • xist;
  • evolution