Abnormal X chromosome inactivation and sex-specific gene dysregulation after ablation of FBXL10

Mathieu Boulard, John R. Edwards, Timothy H. Bestor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Almost all CpG-rich promoters in the mammalian genome are bound by the multidomain FBXL10 protein (also known as KDM2B, JHDM1B, CXXC2, and NDY1). FBXL10 is expressed as two isoforms: FBXL10-1, a longer form that contains an N-terminal histone demethylase domain with C-terminal F-box, CXXC, PHD, RING, and leucinerich repeat domains, and FBXL10-2, a shorter form that initiates at an alternative internal exon and which lacks the histone demethylase domain but retains all other annotated domains. Selective deletion of Fbxl10-1 had been reported to produce a low penetrance and variable phenotype; most of the mutant animals were essentially normal. We constructed mutant mouse strains that were either null for Fbxl10-2 but wild type for Fbxl10-1 or null for both Fbxl10-1 and Fbxl10-2. Results: Deletion of Fbxl10-2 (in a manner that does not perturb expression of Fbxl10-1) produced a phenotype very different from the Fbxl10-1 mutant, with craniofacial abnormalities, neural tube defects, and increased lethality, especially in females. Mutants that lacked both FBXL10-1 and FBXL10-2 showed embryonic lethality and even more extreme sexual dimorphism, with more severe gene dysregulation in mutant female embryos. X-linked genes were most severely dysregulated, and there was marked overexpression of Xist in mutant females although genes that encode factors that bind to Xist RNA were globally downregulated in mutant female as compared to male embryos. Conclusions: FBXL10 is the first factor shown to be required both for the normal expression and function of the Xist gene and for normal expression of proteins that associate with Xist RNA; it is proposed that FBXL10 coordinates the expression of Xist RNA with proteins that associate with this RNA. The function of FBXL10 is largely independent of the histone demethylase activity of the long form of the protein.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalEpigenetics and Chromatin
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • CpG-rich promoters
  • FBXL11
  • Histone demethylase
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • X inactivation
  • Xist


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