Distributed X chromosome inactivation in brain circuitry is associated with X-linked disease penetrance of behavior

Cell Reports(2024)

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The precise anatomical degree of brain X chromosome inactivation (XCI) that is sufficient to alter X-linked disorders in females is unclear. Here, we quantify whole-brain XCI at single-cell resolution to discover a prevalent activation ratio of maternal to paternal X at 60:40 across all divisions of the adult brain. This modest, non-random XCI influences X-linked disease penetrance: maternal transmission of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (Fmr1)-knockout (KO) allele confers 55% of total brain cells with mutant X-active, which is sufficient for behavioral penetrance, while 40% produced from paternal transmission is tolerated. Local XCI mosaicism within affected maternal Fmr1-KO mice further specifies sensorimotor versus social anxiety phenotypes depending on which distinct brain circuitry is most affected, with only a 50%–55% mutant X-active threshold determining penetrance. Thus, our results define a model of X-linked disease penetrance in females whereby distributed XCI among single cells populating brain circuitries can regulate the behavioral penetrance of an X-linked mutation.
XCI,whole-brain,single-cell,circuits,penetrance,disease,X linked
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