Spontaneous reactivation of the inactive X chromosome in mouse embryonal carcinoma cells
Cytogenetic and Genome Research 99(1-4): 44-51
ISSN/ISBN: 1424-859X PMID: 12900544 DOI: 10.1159/000071573
The mouse embryonal carcinoma cell line MC12 carries two X chromosomes, one of which replicates late in S phase and shares properties with the normal inactive X chromosome and, therefore, is considered to be inactivated. Since the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) gene on the active X chromosome is mutated (HPRT(NDASH;)), MC12 cells lack HPRT activity. After subjecting MC12 cells to selection in HAT medium, however, a number of HAT-resistant clones (HAT(R)) appeared. The high frequency of HAT resistance (3.18 x 10(-4)) suggested reactivation of HPRT(PLUS;) on the inactive X chromosome rather than reversion of HPRT(NDASH;). Consistent with this view, cytological analyses showed that the reactivation occurred over the length of the inactive X chromosome in 11 of 20 HAT(R) clones isolated. The remaining nine clones retained a normal heterochromatic inactive X chromosome. The spontaneous reactivation rate of the HPRT(PLUS;) on the inactive X chromosome was relatively high (1.34 x 10(-6)) and comparable to that observed for XIST-deleted somatic cells (Csankovszki et al., 2001), suggesting that the inactivated state is poorly maintained in MC12 cells.