Studies of Human-Mouse Cell Hybrids with Respect to X-Chromosome Inactivation

  • Barbara R. Migeon
  • Joyce A. Sprenkle
  • Tai T. Do
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 12)


As a means of obtaining insights into the mechanisms for maintaining X-chromosome inactivation, we have carried out a series of experiments in an attempt to reverse the process. To identify cells in which the silent X has been derepressed, we have developed a model based on the one described by Comings (1966) using human fibroblasts heterozygous for the common A electrophoretic variant of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDA). In our model, however, the cells are also heterozygous for the Lesch-Nyhan mutation specifying deficiency of hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT-), so that we can select for rare cells in which reactivation has occurred (Migeon 1972). Clonal populations of skin fibroblasts from females heterozygous for both G6PDA and HGPRT-, but expressing only the alleles on the active X, are subjected to a variety of treatments, and the phenotype with regard to both loci is ascertained following treatment. The resultant phenotype is interpreted according to Table 1. The G6PD heteropolymer, because it is never found in mixtures of the two cells under conditions used for these studies, is a sensitive indicator of two functional X chromosomes within the same cell, while the presence of variants at two X-linked loci helps distinguish reactivation from other events such as reversion, somatic crossing over, or contamination with cells of other phenotype.


Hybrid Clone Fibroblast Clone HGPRT Activity Human G6PD Somatic Exchange 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara R. Migeon
    • 1
  • Joyce A. Sprenkle
    • 1
  • Tai T. Do
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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