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The long non-coding RNA XIST is the master regulator for the process of X chromosome inactivation in mammalian females. Here we report the existence of a hitherto uncharacterized cis-regulatory element within the first exon of human XIST, which by associating with the promoter region through chromatin looping defines the transcriptional status of XIST. This interaction is brought about by CTCF, which in turn assists towards the maintenance of YY1 binding at the promoter and governs XISTdoi:10.1101/871178 fatcat:nfj2ysu4vjewvgc3te22ksa2ie