Dynamic X-chromosomal reactivation enhances female brain resilience


While random X-chromosome inactivation in female cells of placental mammalians silences one allele of the majority of X-chromosomal genes, a considerable fraction is only incompletely and variably inactivated resulting in a tissue-specific pattern of mono- and biallelic expression. Here we used clonal human female induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) allowing to trace the (in)activation status of the two X-chromosomes individually along neural differentiation trajectories. We discovered X-chromosome-wide locus- and lineage-specific dynamic usage of the two X-chromosomal alleles in female cells induced by differentiation. Leveraging iPSCs derived from patients with an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder, we demonstrate that activation of alleles on the inactive X-chromosome can exert protective effects on the manifestation of disease phenotypes in female neural cells and tissue. Taken together, our data demonstrate that alleles on the inactive X-chromosome can serve as a critical reservoir reactivated during differentiation, thereby enhancing resilience of female neural tissue.

In biorxiv