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Medical News and Perspectives
April 27, 2005

Mysteries of the X Chromosome Revealed

JAMA. 2005;293(16):1961-1962. doi:10.1001/jama.293.16.1961

Two teams of researchers are providing a clearer picture of X-linked inheritance, including some surprises in their findings that may help to explain some medically important genetic differences between men and women, and even among women.

On March 17, an international team of more than 200 scientists published the results of the sequencing of 99% of the human X chromosome in Nature (Ross et al. Nature. 2005;434:325-337). A second article in the same issue reveals that many more genes than previously thought escape X inactivation and that the number of genes that escape inactivation varies from woman to woman (Carrel and Willard. Nature. 2005;434:400-404).