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X inactivation patterns in female monozygotic twins and their families.
  1. E Watkiss,
  2. T Webb,
  3. G Rysiecki,
  4. N Girdler,
  5. E Hewett,
  6. S Bundey
  1. Department of Clinical Genetics, Birmingham Maternity Hospital, Edgbaston, UK.


    X inactivation studies have been carried out on 22 pairs of female monozygotic twins, one set of female monozygotic triplets, and their mothers and singleton sisters, using the probe M27 beta. Forty-eight per cent of the twins, 55% of their mothers, and 42% of their singleton sisters showed skewed X inactivation. Two of the triplets and their mother had random X inactivation, while the third triplet showed skewed X inactivation. Their singleton sister was homozygous with M27 beta. Of the twins, six pairs showed skewed X inactivation in favour of the same X chromosome, one pair showed skewed X inactivation favouring opposite X chromosomes, in seven pairs one twin showed skewed X inactivation while her co-twin showed random X inactivation, and in eight pairs both twins were random. A higher frequency of skewed pattern of X inactivation was not observed in the monozygotic twins when compared to a series of non-twin females (mothers and singleton sisters) and, so, the results in this study do not lend support to the theory that skewed X inactivation predisposes to the twinning process.

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