Background: Variation in X chromosome inactivation (XCI) in human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can impact their ability to model biological sex biases. The gene-wise landscape of X chromosome gene dosage remains unresolved in female hiPSCs. To characterize patterns of de-repression and escape from inactivation, we performed a systematic survey of allele specific expression in 165 female hiPSC lines. Results: XCI erosion is non-random and primarily affects genes that escape XCI in human tissues. Individual genes and cell lines vary in the frequency and degree of de-repression. Bi-allelic expression increases gradually after modest decrease of XIST in cultures, whose loss is commonly used to mark lines with eroded XCI. We identify three clusters of female lines at different stages of XCI. Increased XCI erosion amplifies female-biased expression at hypomethylated sites and regions normally occupied by repressive histone marks, lowering male-biased differences in the X chromosome. In autosomes, erosion modifies sex differences in a dose-dependent way. Male-biased genes are enriched for hypermethylated regions, and de-repression of XIST-bound autosomal genes in female lines attenuates normal male-biased gene expression in eroded lines. XCI erosion can compensate for a dominant loss of function effect in several disease genes. Conclusions: We present a comprehensive view of X chromosome gene dosage in hiPSCs and implicate a direct mechanism for XCI erosion in regulating autosomal gene expression in trans. The uncommon and variable reactivation of X chromosome genes in female hiPSCs can provide insight into X chromosome’s role in regulating gene expression and sex differences in humans.

TidskriftGenome Biology
Antal sidor27
StatusPublicerad - 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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© The Author(s) 2024.


  • 1182 Biokemi, cell- och molekylärbiologi
  • 1184 Genetik, utvecklingsbiologi, fysiologi

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