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Open Access Correspondence

No severe and global X chromosome inactivation in meiotic male germline of Drosophila

Lyudmila M Mikhaylova and Dmitry I Nurminsky*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

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BMC Biology 2012, 10:50  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-50

Published: 12 June 2012

Abstract

This article is a response to Vibranovski et al.

See correspondence article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/10/49 webcite and the original research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/9/29 webcite

We have previously reported a high propensity of testis-expressed X-linked genes to activation in meiotic cells, a similarity in global gene expression between the X chromosome and autosomes in meiotic germline, and under-representation of various types of tissue-specific genes on the X chromosome. Based on our findings and a critical review of the current literature, we believe that there is no global and severe silencing of the X chromosome in the meiotic male germline of Drosophila. The term 'meiotic sex chromosome inactivation' (MSCI) therefore seems misleading when used to describe the minor underexpression of the X chromosome in the testis of Drosophila, because this term erroneously implies a profound and widespread silencing of the X-linked genes, by analogy to the well-studied MSCI system in mammals, and therefore distracts from identification and analysis of the real mechanisms that orchestrate gene expression and evolution in this species.