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X chromosome dosage and the genetic impact across human tissues

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Background: Sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) give rise to a broad range of phenotypic traits and diseases. Previous studies based on peripheral blood samples have suggested the presence of ripple effects, caused by altered X chromosome number, affecting the methylome and transcriptome. Whether these alterations can be connected to disease-specific tissues, and thereby having clinical implication for the phenotype, remains to be elucidated. Methods: We performed a comprehensive analysis of X chromosome number on the transcriptome and methylome in blood, fat, and muscle tissue from individuals with 45,X, 46,XX, 46,XY, and 47,XXY. Results: X chromosome number affected the transcriptome and methylome globally across all chromosomes in a tissue-specific manner. Furthermore, 45,X and 47,XXY demonstrated a divergent pattern of gene expression and methylation, with overall gene downregulation and hypomethylation in 45,X and gene upregulation and hypermethylation in 47,XXY. In fat and muscle, a pronounced effect of sex was observed. We identified X chromosomal genes with an expression pattern different from what would be expected based on the number of X and Y chromosomes. Our data also indicate a regulatory function of Y chromosomal genes on X chromosomal genes. Fourteen X chromosomal genes were downregulated in 45,X and upregulated in 47,XXY, respectively, in all three tissues (AKAP17A, CD99, DHRSX, EIF2S3, GTPBP6, JPX, KDM6A, PP2R3B, PUDP, SLC25A6, TSIX, XIST, ZBED1, ZFX). These genes may be central in the epigenetic and genomic regulation of sex chromosome aneuploidies. Conclusion: We highlight a tissue-specific and complex effect of X chromosome number on the transcriptome and methylome, elucidating both shared and non-shared gene-regulatory mechanism between SCAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalGenome Medicine
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

    Research areas

  • DNA methylation, Epigenetics, Genetics, RNA expression, Sex chromosome aneuploidies

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