The X-chromosomal human biglycan gene BGN is subject to X inactivation but is transcribed like an X-Y homologous gene

Claudia Geerkens, Ulrich Vetter, Walter Just, Neal S Fedarko, Larry W. Fisher, Marian F. Young, John D. Termine, Pamela Gehron Robey, Doris Wöhrle, Walther Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We report the mRNA and protein expression levels of human biglycan (BGN) in patients with different numbers of sex chromosomes. BGN maps to the distal long arm of the X chromosome, band Xq28, near the second pseudoautosomal region. BGN expression levels are reduced in 45,X Turner patients and increased in patients with additional sex chromosomes. This is suggestive of a pseudoautosomal gene or a gene that escapes X inactivation and that has an active Y chromosomal copy. However, we also provide evidence from hybrid cell lines that BGN is subject to X inactivation and that there is no homolog on the Y chromosome. This evidence excludes an escape from X inactivation. Moreover, additional Y chromosomes increase BGN expression levels, despite the absence of a Y chromosomal BGN gene. Therefore, another explanation has to be invoked. The "pseudoautosomal expression" of BGN may be attributed to a gene or genes that escape X inactivation and that regulate the transcriptional activity of BGN. This is the first report concerning an X chromosomal gene that does not show the conventional correlation between gene dosage and expression rate known from other X chromosomal genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics

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