Jeannie T. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Title
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Department
Department of Molecular Biology
Institution
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University
Address
Simches Research Center 6.624
185 Cambridge Street
City, State, Zip
Boston, MA 2114
Phone
(617) 726-3043
E-mail
lee[at]molbio.mgh.harvard.edu
Website
http://genetics.med.harvard.edu/faculty/lee
Research Field
Genetics
Award Year
1999

Research

In mammals, dosage compensation occurs by silencing on X-chromosome in female cells, a process known as X-chromosome inactivation (XCI). Two types of XCI have been described in mice - a random mechanism in which either the maternal or paternal X can be inactivated, and an , imprinted mechanism whereby the paternal X is always inactivated. Our laboratory is currently interested in how both forms are regulated and in the evolutionary connection between XCI and it’s sister phenomenon, known as “autosomal imprinting.” Ongoing work in the lab addresses a number of questions, including: 1.) How do the three non-coding loci interact with each other at the chromatin and RNA levels to bring out the various steps of XCI, including epigenetic choice and gene silencing? 2.) How does X-chromosome counting take place? 3) What is the chromatin structure at the X-inactivation center and how does this relate to the XCI mechanism? 4.) What is the evolutionary relationship between XCI and genomic imprinting, and did imprinting evolve first on the X in mammals?