Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) Xist has emerged as a key modulator in dosage compensation by randomly inactivating one of the X chromosomes in mammals during embryonic development. Dysregulation of X chromosome inactivation (XCI) due to deletion of Xist has been proven to induce hematologic cancer in mice. However, this phenomenon is not consistent in humans as growing evidence suggests Xist can suppress or promote cancer growth in different organs of the human body. In this review, we discuss recent advances of XCI in human embryonic stem cells and provide an explanation for the seemingly contradictory roles of Xist in development of human cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-323
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Cancer stem cell
  • Competing endogenous RNA
  • Exosomes
  • Long non-coding RNA
  • MicroRNAs
  • X Chromosome inactivation
  • XACT non-coding RNA
  • XIST non-coding RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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