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Recent studies have revealed mechanistic parallels between imprinted X-chromosome inactivation and autosomal imprinting. We suggest that neither mechanism was present in ancestral egg-laying mammals, and that both arose when the evolution of the placenta exerted selective pressure to imprint growth-related genes. We also propose that non-coding RNAs and histone modifications were adopted for the imprinting of growth suppressors on the X chromosome and on autosomes. This provides a unified hypothesis for the evolution of X-chromosome inactivation and imprinting.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nrg1602

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Rev Genet

Publication Date

05/2005

Volume

6

Pages

403 - 410

Keywords

Animals, Dosage Compensation, Genetic, Evolution, Molecular, Genomic Imprinting, Mammals, X Chromosome