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Werner RJ, Schultz BM, Huhn JM, Jelinek J, Madzo J, Engel N
Sex chromosomes drive gene expression and regulatory dimorphisms in mouse embryonic stem cells
Biol Sex Differ (2017) 8:28.
BACKGROUND: Pre-implantation embryos exhibit sexual dimorphisms in both primates and rodents. To determine whether these differences reflected sex-biased expression patterns, we generated transcriptome profiles for six 40,XX, six 40,XY, and two 39,X mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells by RNA sequencing. RESULTS: We found hundreds of coding and non-coding RNAs that were differentially expressed between male and female cells. Surprisingly, the majority of these were autosomal and included RNA encoding transcription and epigenetic and chromatin remodeling factors. We showed differential Prdm14-responsive enhancer activity in male and female cells, correlating with the sex-specific levels of Prdm14 expression. This is the first time sex-specific enhancer activity in ES cells has been reported. Evaluation of X-linked gene expression patterns between our XX and XY lines revealed four distinct categories: (1) genes showing 2-fold greater expression in the female cells; (2) a set of genes with expression levels well above 2-fold in female cells; (3) genes with equivalent RNA levels in male and female cells; and strikingly, (4) a small number of genes with higher expression in the XY lines. Further evaluation of autosomal gene expression revealed differential expression of imprinted loci, despite appropriate parent-of-origin patterns. The 39,X lines aligned closely with the XY cells and provided insights into potential regulation of genes associated with Turner syndrome in humans. Moreover, inclusion of the 39,X lines permitted three-way comparisons, delineating X and Y chromosome-dependent patterns. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results support the role of the sex chromosomes in establishing sex-specific networks early in embryonic development and provide insights into effects of sex chromosome aneuploidies originating at those stages.
Publication Date: 2017-08-17.
PMCID: PMC5561606
Last updated on Friday, July 10, 2020