The inactivated X chromosome has a site of unusually frequent folding in region Xq1, whereas a fold in Xq1 is uncommon on the active X. We investigated the pattern of X chromosome folding in high-resolution GTG- and RBG-stained preparations from four women. In early metaphase cells, slightly more than 50% of late-replicating Xs folded at Xq1→Xq21, compared with about 6% of early replicating Xs. The late-replicating X folded in about 80% of prometaphase cells; the early, in only about 14% of these cells. And the latereplicating X folded in 19 of 20 prophase cells. Occasionally, one X had an omega-shaped loop or apparent physical connection between Xq13 and Xq21.1. It is possible that a segment of Xq1 never completely uncoils and may help to provide continuity for the Barr body from one interphase to the next.
ASJC Scopus subject areas