Joel B. Berletch

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To achieve a balanced gene expression dosage between males (XY) and females (XX), mammals have evolved a compensatory mechanism to randomly inactivate one of the female X chromosomes. Despite this chromosome-wide silencing, a number of genes escape X inactivation: in women about 15% of X-linked genes are bi-allelically expressed and in mice, about 3%.(More)
In mammals, X chromosome genes are present in one copy in males and two in females. To balance the dosage of X-linked gene expression between the sexes, one of the X chromosomes in females is silenced. X inactivation is initiated by upregulation of the lncRNA (long non-coding RNA) Xist and recruitment of specific chromatin modifiers. The inactivated X(More)
The ends of human chromosomes are protected from the degradation associated with cell division by 15-20 kb long segments of hexameric repeats of 5'-TTAGGG-3' termed telomeres. In normal cells telomeres lose up to 300 bp of DNA per cell division that ultimately leads to senescence; however, most cancer cells bypass this lifespan restriction through the(More)
Genes on the mammalian X chromosome are present in one copy in males and two copies in females. The complex mechanisms that regulate the X chromosome lead to evolutionary and physiological variability in gene expression between species, the sexes, individuals, developmental stages, tissues and cell types. In early development, delayed and incomplete X(More)
X chromosome inactivation (XCI) silences most genes on one X chromosome in female mammals, but some genes escape XCI. To identify escape genes in vivo and to explore molecular mechanisms that regulate this process we analyzed the allele-specific expression and chromatin structure of X-linked genes in mouse tissues and cells with skewed XCI and(More)
A subset of X-linked genes escapes silencing by X inactivation and is expressed from both X chromosomes in mammalian females. Species-specific differences in the identity of these genes have recently been discovered, suggesting a role in the evolution of sex differences. Chromatin analyses have aimed to discover how genes remain expressed within a(More)
In mammals, one of the female X chromosomes and all imprinted genes are expressed exclusively from a single allele in somatic cells. To evaluate structural changes associated with allelic silencing, we have applied a recently developed Hi-C assay that uses DNase I for chromatin fragmentation to mouse F1 hybrid systems. We find radically different(More)
Studies of macroH2A histone variants indicate that they have a role in regulating gene expression. To identify direct targets of the macroH2A1 variants, we produced a genome-wide map of the distribution of macroH2A1 nucleosomes in mouse liver chromatin using high-throughput DNA sequencing. Although macroH2A1 nucleosomes are widely distributed across the(More)
The Rhox cluster on the mouse X chromosome contains reproduction-related homeobox genes expressed in a sexually dimorphic manner. We report that two members of the Rhox cluster, Rhox6 and 9, are regulated by de-methylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 by KDM6A, a histone demethylase with female-biased expression. Consistent with other homeobox genes, Rhox6(More)
X-chromosome inactivation, which was discovered by Mary Lyon in 1961 results in random silencing of one X chromosome in female mammals. This review is dedicated to Mary Lyon, who passed away last year. She predicted many of the features of X inactivation, for e.g., the existence of an X inactivation center, the role of L1 elements in spreading of silencing(More)