Transcription dosage compensation does not occur in Down syndrome. Journal Article uri icon



  • BACKGROUND: Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome, describes the genetic condition of having an extra copy of chromosome 21. The increase in DNA copy number has led to the "DNA dosage hypothesis", which claims that the level of gene transcription is proportional to the gene's DNA copy number. Yet many reports have suggested that a proportion of chromosome 21 genes are dosage compensated back towards typical expression levels (1.0x). In contrast, other reports suggest that dosage compensation is not a common mechanism of gene regulation in Trisomy 21, providing support to the DNA dosage hypothesis. RESULTS: In our work, we use both simulated and real data to dissect the elements of differential expression analysis that can lead to the appearance of dosage compensation even when compensation is demonstrably absent. Using lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from a family of an individual with Down syndrome, we demonstrate that dosage compensation is nearly absent at both nascent transcription (GRO-seq) and steady-state RNA (RNA-seq) levels. CONCLUSIONS: Transcriptional dosage compensation does not occur in Down syndrome. Simulated data containing no dosage compensation can appear to have dosage compensation when analyzed via standard methods. Moreover, some chromosome 21 genes that appear to be dosage compensated are consistent with allele specific expression.

publication date

  • June 9, 2023

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • June 21, 2023 3:49 AM

Full Author List

  • Hunter S; Dowell RD; Hendrix J; Freeman J; Allen MA

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2692-8205