Recombination between palindromes P5 and P1 on the human Y chromosome causes massive deletions and spermatogenic failure.
ABSTRACT: It is widely believed that at least three nonoverlapping regions of the human Y chromosome-AZFa, AZFb, and AZFc ("azoospermia factors" a, b, and c)-are essential for normal spermatogenesis. These intervals are defined by interstitial Y-chromosome deletions that impair or extinguish spermatogenesis. Deletion breakpoints, mechanisms, and lengths, as well as inventories of affected genes, have been elucidated for deletions of AZFa and of AZFc but not for deletions of AZFb or of AZFb plus AZFc. We studied three deletions of AZFb and eight deletions of AZFb plus AZFc, as assayed by the STSs defining these intervals. Guided by Y-chromosome sequence, we localized breakpoints precisely and were able to sequence nine of the deletion junctions. Homologous recombination can explain seven of these deletions but not the remaining two. This fact and our discovery of breakpoint hotspots suggest that factors in addition to homology underlie these deletions. The deletions previously thought to define AZFb were found to extend from palindrome P5 to the proximal arm of palindrome P1, 1.5 Mb within AZFc. Thus, they do not define a genomic region separate from AZFc. We also found that the deletions of AZFb plus AZFc, as assayed by standard STSs heretofore available, in fact extend from P5 to the distal arm of P1 and spare distal AZFc. Both classes of deletions are massive: P5/proximal-P1 deletions encompass up to 6.2 Mb and remove 32 genes and transcripts; P5/distal-P1 deletions encompass up to 7.7 Mb and remove 42 genes and transcripts. To our knowledge, these are the largest of all human interstitial deletions for which deletion junctions and complete intervening sequence are available. The restriction of the associated phenotype to spermatogenic failure indicates the remarkable functional specialization of the affected regions of the Y chromosome.
Project description:Genomic AZFb deletions in Yq11 coined "classical" (i.e. length of Y DNA deletion: 6.23 Mb) are associated with meiotic arrest (MA) of patient spermatogenesis, i.e., absence of any postmeiotic germ cells. These AZFb deletions are caused by non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) events between identical sequence blocks located in the proximal arm of the P5 palindrome and within P1.2, a 92 kb long sequence block located in the P1 palindrome structure of AZFc in Yq11. This large genomic Y region includes deletion of 6 protein encoding Y genes, EIFA1Y, HSFY, PRY, RBMY1, RPS4Y, SMCY. Additionally, one copy of CDY2 and XKRY located in the proximal P5 palindrome and one copy of BPY1, two copies of DAZ located in the P2 palindrome, and one copy of CDY1 located proximal to P1.2 are included within this AZFb microdeletion. It overlaps thus distally along 2.3 Mb with the proximal part of the genomic AZFc deletion. However, AZFb deletions have been also reported with distinct break sites in the proximal and/or distal AZFb breakpoint intervals on the Y chromosome of infertile men. These so called "non-classical" AZFb deletions are associated with variable testicular pathologies, including meiotic arrest, cryptozoospermia, severe oligozoospermia, or oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT syndrome), respectively. This raised the question whether there are any specific length(s) of the AZFb deletion interval along Yq11 required to cause meiotic arrest of the patient's spermatogenesis, respectively, whether there is any single AZFb Y gene deletion also able to cause this "classical" AZFb testicular pathology? Review of the literature and more cases with "classical" and "non-classical" AZFb deletions analysed in our lab since the last 20 years suggests that the composition of the genomic Y sequence in AZFb is variable in men with distinct Y haplogroups especially in the distal AZFb region overlapping with the proximal AZFc deletion interval and that its extension can be "polymorphic" in the P3 palindrome. That means this AZFb subinterval can be rearranged or deleted also on the Y chromosome of fertile men. Any AZFb deletion observed in infertile men with azoospermia should therefore be confirmed as "de novo" mutation event, i.e., not present on the Y chromosome of the patient's father or fertile brother before it is considered as causative agent for man's infertility. Moreover, its molecular length in Yq11 should be comparable to that of the "classical" AZFb deletion, before meiotic arrest is prognosed as the patient's testicular pathology.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To identify the frequency of Y chromosome microdeletions in Indian populations and to quantitatively estimate the significance of association between these deletions and male infertility.<h4>Methods</h4>A total of 379 infertile males (302 azoospermic and 77 oligozoospermic infertile males) and 265 normozoospermic fertile males were evaluated for Y chromosome microdeletions (YCD) using PCR amplification and gel electrophoresis. Meta-analyses were performed on AZFa (2079 cases and 1217 controls), AZFb (2212 cases and 1267 controls), AZFc (4131 cases and 2008 controls), and AZFb+c (1573 cases and 942 controls) deletions data to quantitatively estimate the significance of association between these deletions and male infertility in Indian populations.<h4>Results</h4>The results revealed that out of 379 infertile azoospermic and oligozoospermic males, 38 (10.02%) had AZF deletions. No deletion was found in control samples. The highest percentage of deletions was observed in the AZFc region, followed by AZFa and AZFb. Qualitative analysis showed that AZF deletions were present in 0.59 to 32.62% (average 13.48%) of infertile cases in Indian populations. Meta-analysis revealed a significant association of AZFa (OR?=?6.74, p value?=?0.001), AZFb (OR?=?4.694, p value?=?0.004), AZFc (OR?=?13.575, p value?=?0.000), and AZFb+c (OR?=?5.946, p value?=?0.018) deletions with male infertility.<h4>Conclusion</h4>AZF deletions were seen in 10.02% of azoospermic and oligozoospermic cases with the highest frequency of AZFc deletions. Pooled analysis for all studies showed deletion frequency from 0.59 to 32.62% (average?=?13.48%). Meta-analysis showed significant association of AZFa, AZFb, and AZFb+c deletions with male infertility. Analysis of Y chromosome microdeletions should be reckoned as an essential testing for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Infertility is a health problem which affects about 10-20% of married couples. Male factor infertility is involved approximately 50% of infertile couples. Most of male infertility is regarding to deletions in the male-specific region of the Y chromosome. OBJECTIVE:In this study, the occurrence of deletions in the AZF region and association between infertility and paternal age were investigated in Iranian men population. MATERIALS AND METHODS:To assess the occurrence of Y chromosomal microdeletions and partial deletions of the AZF region, 100 infertile men and 100 controls with normal spermatogenesis were analyzed. AZFa, AZFb, AZFc and partial deletions within the AZFc region were analyzed using multiplex PCR method. Finally, the association between paternal age and male infertility was evaluated. RESULTS:No AZFa, AZFb or AZFc deletions were found in the control group. Seven infertile men had deletions as the following: one AZFb, five AZFc, and one AZFab. Partial deletions of AZFc (gr/gr) in 9 of the 100 infertile men (9/100, 9%) and 1 partial AZFc deletions (gr/gr) in the control group (1/100, 1%) were observed. In addition, five b2/b3 deletions in five azoospermic subjects (5/100, 5%) and 2 partial AZFc deletions (b2/b3) in the control group (2/100, 2%) were identified. Moreover, the risk of male infertility was influenced by the paternal age. CONCLUSION:The results of this study suggested that the frequency of Y chromosome AZF microdeletions increased in subjects with severe spermatogenic failure and gr/gr deletion associated with spermatogenic failure.
Project description:Microdeletions of the Y chromosome long arm are the most common mutations in infertile males, where they involve one or more "azoospermia factors" (AZFa, b, and c). Understanding of the AZF structure and gene content and mapping of the deletion breakpoints in infertile men are still incomplete. We have assembled a complete 4.3 Mb map of AZFb and surrounding regions by means of 38 BAC clones. The proximal part of AZFb consists of large repeated sequences organised in palindromes, but most of it is single copy sequence. A number of known and novel genes and gene families map in this interval, and most of them are testis specific or have testis specific transcripts. STS mapping allowed us to identify four severely infertile subjects with a deletion in AZFb with similar breakpoints, therefore suggesting a common deletion mechanism. This deletion includes at least five single copy genes and two duplicated genes, but does not remove the historical AZFb candidate gene RBMY1. These data suggest that other genes in AZFb may have important roles in spermatogenesis. We had no evidence for homologous recombination between large repeats as a possible deletion mechanism, as shown for AZFa and AZFc. However, identical sequences in AZFb and AZFc exist, and this finding could explain deletions found in these regions.
Project description:Deletions in the AZoospermia Factor (AZF) regions (spermatogenesis loci) on the human Y chromosome are reported as one of the most common causes of severe testiculopathy and spermatogenic defects leading to male infertility, yet not much data is available for Indian infertile men. Therefore, we screened for AZF region deletions in 973 infertile men consisting of 771 azoospermia, 105 oligozoospermia and 97 oligoteratozoospermia cases, along with 587 fertile normozoospermic men. The deletion screening was carried out using AZF-specific markers: STSs (Sequence Tagged Sites), SNVs (Single Nucleotide Variations), PCR-RFLP (Polymerase Chain Reaction - Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) analysis of STS amplicons, DNA sequencing and Southern hybridization techniques. Our study revealed deletion events in a total of 29.4% of infertile Indian men. Of these, non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) events accounted for 25.8%, which included 3.5% AZFb deletions, 2.3% AZFbc deletions, 6.9% complete AZFc deletions, and 13.1% partial AZFc deletions. We observed 3.2% AZFa deletions and a rare long AZFabc region deletion in 0.5% azoospermic men. This study illustrates how the ethnicity, endogamy and long-time geographical isolation of Indian populations might have played a major role in the high frequencies of deletion events.
Project description:Infertility affects around 1 in 10 men and in most cases the cause is unknown. The Y chromosome plays an important role in spermatogenesis and specific deletions of this chromosome, the AZF deletions, are associated with spermatogenic failure. Recently partial AZF deletions have been described but their association with spermatogenic failure is unclear. Here we screened a total of 339 men with idiopathic spermatogenic failure, and 256 normozoospermic ancestry-matched men for chromosome microdeletions including AZFa, AZFb, AZFc, and the AZFc partial deletions (gr/gr, b1/b3 and b2/b3).AZFa and AZFc deletions were identified in men with severe spermatogenic failure at similar frequencies to those reported elsewhere. Gr/gr deletions were identified in case and control populations at 5.83% and 6.25% respectively suggesting that these deletions are not associated with spermatogenic failure. However, b2/b3 deletions were detected only in men with spermatogenic failure and not in the normospermic individuals. Combined with our previous data this shows an association of the b2/b3 deletion (p = 0.0318) with spermatogenic failure in some populations. We recommend screening for this deletion in men with unexplained spermatogenic failure.
Project description:The aim of the present work was to present the outcomes of the patients with Y-chromosome microdeletions treated by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), either using fresh (TESE) or frozen-thawed (TESE-C) testicular sperm and ejaculated sperm (EJAC). The originality of this work resides in the comparisons between the different types of Y-microdeletions (AZFa, AZFb, and AZFc) and treatments, with detailed demographic, stimulation, embryological, clinical, and newborn (NB) outcomes. Of 125 patients with Y-microdeletions, 33 patients presented severe oligozoospermia (18 performed ICSI with ejaculated sperm) and 92 secretory azoospermia (65 went for TESE with 40 having successful sperm retrieval and performed ICSI). There were 51 TESE treatment cycles and 43 TESE-C treatment cycles, with a birth of 19 NB (2 in AZFa/TESE-C, 12 in AZFc/TESE, and 5 in AZFc/TESE-C). Of the 29 EJAC cycles, there was a birth of 8 NB (in AZFc). In TESE and EJAC cycles, there were no significant differences in embryological and clinical parameters. In TESE-C cycles, there was a significant lower oocyte maturity rate, embryo cleavage rate and mean number of embryos transferred in AZFb, and a higher mean number of oocytes and lower fertilization rate in AZFc. In conclusion, although patients with AZFc microdeletions presented a high testicular sperm recovery rate and acceptable clinical outcomes, cases with AZFa and AZFb microdeletions presented a poor prognosis. Due to the reported heredity of microdeletions, patients should be informed about the infertile consequences on NB and the possibility of using preimplantation genetic diagnosis for female sex selection.
Project description:Microdeletions in the AZF region of the Y chromosome are among the most frequent genetic causes of male infertility, although the specific role of the genes located in this region is not fully understood. AZFa and AZFb deletions impair spermatogenesis since no spermatozoa are found in the testis. Deletions of the AZFc region, despite being the most frequent in azoospermic patients, do not correlate with spermatogenic failure. Therefore, the aim of this work was to develop a screening method to ascertain the presence of the main spermatogenesis candidate genes located in the AZFc region in the light of the identification of those responsible for spermatogenic failure. DAZ, CDY, BPY2, PRY, GOLGA2LY and CSGP4LY genes were selected on the basis of their location in the AZFc region, testis-only expression, and confirmed or predicted protein codification. AMEL and SRY were used as amplification controls. The identification of Real Time PCR products was performed by High Resolution Melting analysis with SYTO 9 as intercalating dye. The herein described method allows a rapid, simple, low-cost, high-throughput screening for deletions of the main AZFc genes in patients with spermatogenic failure. This provides a strategy that would accelerate the identification of spermatogenesis candidate genes in larger populations of patients with non-obstructive idiopathic azoospermia.
Project description:Testicular germ cell tumour (TGCT) is the most common malignancy in men aged 15-45 years. A small deletion on the Y chromosome known as 'gr/gr' was shown to be associated with a two-fold increased risk of TGCT, increasing to three-fold in cases with a family history of TGCT. Additional deletions of the Y chromosome, known as AZFa, AZFb and AZFc, are described in patients with infertility; however, complete deletions of these regions have not been identified in TGCT patients. We screened the Y chromosome in a series of TGCT cases to evaluate if additional deletions of Y were implicated in TGCT susceptibility. Single copy Y chromosome STS markers with an average inter-marker spacing of 128 kb were examined in constitutional DNA of 271 index TGCT patients. Three markers showed evidence of deletions, sY1291, indicative of 'gr/gr' (eight out of 271; 2.9%), Y-DAZ3 contained within 'gr/gr' (21 out of 271; 7.7%) and a single deletion of the marker G66152 was identified in one TGCT case. No other markers demonstrated deletions. While several regions of the Y chromosome are known to be deleted and associated with infertility, our study provides no evidence to suggest regions of Y deletion, other than 'gr/gr', are associated with susceptibility to TGCT in UK patients.
Project description:The human Y chromosome harbors genes that are responsible for testis development and also for initiation and maintenance of spermatogenesis in adulthood. The long arm of the Y chromosome (Yq) contains many ampliconic and palindromic sequences making it predisposed to self-recombination during spermatogenesis and hence susceptible to intra-chromosomal deletions. Such deletions lead to copy number variation in genes of the Y chromosome resulting in male infertility. Three common Yq deletions that recur in infertile males are termed as AZF (Azoospermia Factor) microdeletions viz. AZFa, AZFb and AZFc. As estimated from data of nearly 40,000 Y chromosomes, the global prevalence of Yq microdeletions is 7.5% in infertile males; however the European infertile men are less susceptible to Yq microdeletions, the highest prevalence is in Americans and East Asian infertile men. In addition, partial deletions of the AZFc locus have been associated with infertility but the effect seems to be ethnicity dependent. Analysis of >?17,000 Y chromosomes from fertile and infertile men has revealed an association of gr/gr deletion with male infertility in Caucasians and Mongolian men, while the b2/b3 deletion is associated with male infertility in African and Dravidian men. Clinically, the screening for Yq microdeletions would aid the clinician in determining the cause of male infertility and decide a rational management strategy for the patient. As these deletions are transmitted to 100% of male offspring born through assisted reproduction, testing of Yq deletions will allow the couples to make an informed choice regarding the perpetuation of male infertility in future generations. With the emerging data on association of Yq deletions with testicular cancers and neuropsychiatric conditions long term follow-up data is urgently needed for infertile men harboring Yq deletions. If found so, the information will change the current the perspective of androgenetics from infertility and might have broad implication in men health.