Truncating Mutations in the Adhesion G Protein-Coupled Receptor G2 Gene ADGRG2 Cause an X-Linked Congenital Bilateral Absence of Vas Deferens.
ABSTRACT: In 80% of infertile men with obstructive azoospermia caused by a congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD), mutations are identified in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene (CFTR). For the remaining 20%, the origin of the CBAVD is unknown. A large cohort of azoospermic men with CBAVD was retrospectively reassessed with more stringent selection criteria based on consistent clinical data, complete description of semen and reproductive excurrent ducts, extensive CFTR testing, and kidney ultrasound examination. To maximize the phenotypic prioritization, men with CBAVD and with unilateral renal agenesis were considered ineligible for the present study. We performed whole-exome sequencing on 12 CFTR-negative men with CBAVD and targeted sequencing on 14 additional individuals. We identified three protein-truncating hemizygous mutations, c.1545dupT (p.Glu516Ter), c.2845delT (p.Cys949AlafsTer81), and c.2002_2006delinsAGA (p.Leu668ArgfsTer21), in ADGRG2, encoding the epididymal- and efferent-ducts-specific adhesion G protein-coupled receptor G2, in four subjects, including two related individuals with X-linked transmission of their infertility. Previous studies have demonstrated that Adgrg2-knockout male mice develop obstructive infertility. Our study confirms the crucial role of ADGRG2 in human male fertility and brings new insight into congenital obstructive azoospermia pathogenesis. In men with CBAVD who are CFTR-negative, ADGRG2 testing could allow for appropriate genetic counseling with regard to the X-linked transmission of the molecular defect.
Project description:Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene cause cystic fibrosis (CF) and are associated with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD), which is the major cause of infertility in male patients with CF. However, most Taiwanese patients with CBAVD do not carry major CFTR mutations. Some patients have a single copy deletion of the solute carrier family 9 isoform 3 (SLC9A3) gene. SLC9A3 is a Na+/H+ exchanger, and depleted Slc9a3 in male mice causes infertility due to the abnormal dilated lumen of the rete testis and efferent ductules. Furthermore, SLC9A3 interacts with CFTR in the pancreatic duct and functions as a genetic modifier of CF. However, SLC9A3 function and its relation to CFTR expression in the male reproductive tract in vivo remain elusive. In the present study, we found that CFTR expression was dramatically decreased in the epididymis and vas deferens of Slc9a3 knockout mice. Adult Slc9a3-/- mice showed not only significantly decreased epididymis and vas deferens weight but also increased testis weight. Furthermore, Slc9a3-/- mice developed obstructive azoospermia because of abnormal abundant secretions and calcification in the lumen of the reproductive tract. Ultrastructural analysis of the epithelium in Slc9a3-/-epididymis and vas deferens displayed disorganized and reduced number of stereocilia and numerous secretory apparatuses. Our data revealed that interdependence between SLC9A3 and CFTR is critical for maintaining a precise microenvironment in the epithelial cytoarchitecture of the male reproductive tract. The Slc9a3-deficient mice with impaired male excurrent ducts in this study provide proof for our clinical findings that some Taiwanese of CBAVD carry SLC9A3 deletion but without major CFTR mutations.
Project description:We performed whole exome sequencing to identify an unknown genetic cause of azoospermia and male infertility in a large Pakistani family. Three infertile males were subjected to semen analysis, hormone testing, testicular histology, ultrasonography, karyotyping, Y-chromosome microdeletion and CFTR testing. The clinical testing suggested a diagnosis of obstructive azoospermia (OA). To identify the cause, we performed whole exome sequencing (WES) for 2 infertile brothers and 2 fertile family members. For segregation analysis and variant confirmation, we performed Sanger sequencing. WES data analysis of the family revealed segregated variants in 3 candidate genes. We considered novel nonsense variant c.2440C?>?T(p.Arg814*) in X-linked gene ADGRG2 as biologically most plausible. It is predicted to truncate the protein by 204 amino acids (aa) at a key transmembrane domain. Adgrg2-knockout male mice show sperm loss due to obstructive fluid stasis, while ADGRG2 mutations cause OA in the infertile male patients. Our analysis of testicular histology reveals secondary severe reduction of spermatogenesis, consistent with human and knockout mouse phenotypes. The ADGRG2 nonsense mutation is absent in the largest population databases, ExAC and gnomAD. Analysis of the novel nonsense mutation in extended family members confirmed co-segregation of the mutation with OA in all affected males. The likely pathogenic nature of the mutation is supported by its truncation effect on the transmembrane domain and distinctive ultrasound results. The study demonstrates effectiveness of WES in discovering a genetic cause of azoospermia.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) is an important cause of obstructive azoospermia and male infertility. Mutations of CFTR caused the majority of CBAVD cases, and ADGRG2 was recently identified as a new pathogenic gene. Yet, most of the genetic evidence came from sporadic cases, and only one mutation in CFTR can be found in patients. METHODS:In present study, we collected two CBAVD pedigrees, each having two affected male siblings. We performed whole exome sequencing on all patients and validated all potential variants by Sanger sequencing. RESULTS:We excluded ADGRG2 variants but identified compound heterozygous variants of CFTR in both families (NM_000492.3:c.1210-33_1210-6GTT and c.4056G>C;p.Gln1352Cys in pedigree 1, c.592G>C;p.Ala198Pro and c.3717G>A;p.Arg1239= in pedigree 2), which were subsequently validated by direct sequencing. c.1210-33_1210-6GTT (also known as IVS8-T5-TG13) was a known disease-causing variant causing the skipping of exon 9 of CFTR and inherited from the proband's mother. p.Gln1352Cys and Ala198Pro were rare or novel in public databases and predicted to be deleterious. The p.Arg1239= was a synonymous variant but located at the end of an exon, which was predicted to alter the splicing pattern. CONCLUSION:Our study, in which compound heterozygous variants were identified in two pedigrees, provides more familial evidence that only recessive variants (homozygous or compound heterozygous) in CFTR cause CBAVD. Furthermore, whole exome sequencing may be utilized as a useful tool for mutation screening of genes causing CBAVD.
Project description:Congenital bilateral absence of vas deferens (CBAVD) is the most common CFTR-related disorder (CFTR-RD) that explains about 1-2% of the male infertility cases. Controversial data have been published regarding the involvement of CFTR mutations in infertile men with non-obstructive azoospermia and oligozoospermia. Here, we describe single base extension (SNaPshot) assay for detection of 11 common CFTR mutations: F508del, G542X, N1303K, 621+1G->T, G551D, R553X, R1162X, W1282X, R117H, 2184insA and 1717-1G->A and IVS8polyT variants. The assay was validated on 50 previously genotyped samples and was used to screen a total of 369 infertile men with different impairment of spermatogenesis and 136 fertile controls. Our results show that double heterozygosity of cystic fibrosis (CF) and CFTR-related disorder (CFTR-RD) mutations are found in a high percentage (22.7%) of infertile men with obstructive azoospermia, but not in other studied groups of infertile men. The SNaPshot assay described here is an inexpensive, fast and robust method for primary screening of the most common CFTR mutations both in patients with classical CF and CFTR-RD. It can contribute to better understanding of the role of CFTR mutations in impaired spermatogenesis, ultimately leading to improved management of infertile men.
Project description:Luminal fluid reabsorption plays a fundamental role in male fertility. We demonstrated that the ubiquitous GPCR signaling proteins Gq and ?-arrestin-1 are essential for fluid reabsorption because they mediate coupling between an orphan receptor ADGRG2 (GPR64) and the ion channel CFTR. A reduction in protein level or deficiency of ADGRG2, Gq or ?-arrestin-1 in a mouse model led to an imbalance in pH homeostasis in the efferent ductules due to decreased constitutive CFTR currents. Efferent ductule dysfunction was rescued by the specific activation of another GPCR, AGTR2. Further mechanistic analysis revealed that ?-arrestin-1 acts as a scaffold for ADGRG2/CFTR complex formation in apical membranes, whereas specific residues of ADGRG2 confer coupling specificity for different G protein subtypes, this specificity is critical for male fertility. Therefore, manipulation of the signaling components of the ADGRG2-Gq/?-arrestin-1/CFTR complex by small molecules may be an effective therapeutic strategy for male infertility.
Project description:Congenital bilateral absence of vas deferens (CBAVD) is a manifestation of the mildest form of cystic fibrosis (CF) and is characterized by obstructive azoospermia in otherwise healthy patients. Owing to the availability of assisted reproductive technology, CBAVD patients can father children. These fathers are at risk of transmitting a mutated allele of the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, responsible for CF, to their offspring. The identification of mutations in both CFTR alleles in CBAVD patients is a crucial requirement for calculating the risk of producing a child with full-blown CF if the female partner is a healthy CF carrier. However, in the majority of CBAVD patients, conventional mutation screening is not able to detect mutations in both CFTR alleles, and this difficulty hampers the execution of correct genetic counselling. To obtain information about the most represented CFTR mutations in CBAVD patients, we analysed 23 CBAVD patients, 15 of whom had a single CFTR mutation after screening for 36 mutations and the 5T allele. The search for the second CFTR mutation in these cases was performed by using a triplex approach: (i) first, a reverse dot-blot analysis was performed to detect mutations with regional impact; (ii) next, multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification assays were conducted to search for large rearrangements; and (iii) finally, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography was used to search for point mutations in the entire coding region. Using these approaches, the second CFTR mutation was detected in six patients, which increased the final detection rate to 60.8%.
Project description:PURPOSE:Congenital aplasia of vas deferens (CAVD) is an atypical form of cystic fibrosis (CF) and causes obstructive azoospermia and male infertility. Compound heterozygous variants of CFTR are the main cause of CAVD. However, most evidence comes from genetic screening of sporadic cases and little is from pedigree analysis. In this study, we performed analysis in a Chinese pedigree with two CAVD patients in order to determine the genetic cause of this familial disorder. METHODS:In the present study, we performed whole-exome sequencing and co-segregation analysis in a Chinese pedigree involving two patients diagnosed with CAVD. RESULTS:We identified a rare frameshift variant (NM_000492.3: c.50dupT;p.S18Qfs*27) and a frequent CBAVD-causing variant (IVS9-TG13-5T) in both patients. The frameshift variant introduced a premature termination codon and was not found in any public databases or reported in the literature. Co-segregation analysis confirmed these two variants were in compound heterozygous state. The other male members, who harbored the frameshift variant and benign IVS9-7T allele, did not have any typical clinical manifestations of CF or CAVD. CONCLUSION:Our findings may broaden the mutation spectrum of CFTR in CAVD patients and provide more familial evidence that the combination of a mild variant and a severe variant in trans of CFTR can cause vas deferens malformation.
Project description:Infertility is a common condition estimated to affect 10-15% of couples. The clinical causes are attributed in equal parts to the male and female partners. Diagnosing male infertility mostly relies on semen (and hormone) analysis, which results in classification into the two major phenotypes of oligo- and azoospermia. The clinical routine analyses have not changed over the last 20 years and comprise screening for chromosomal aberrations and Y‑chromosomal azoospermia factor deletions. These tests establish a causal genetic diagnosis in about 4% of unselected men in infertile couples and 20% of azoospermic men. Gene sequencing is currently only performed in very rare cases of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and the CFTR gene is routinely analysed in men with obstructive azoospermia. Still, a large number of genes have been proposed to be associated with male infertility by, for example, knock-out mouse models. In particular, those that are exclusively expressed in the testes are potential candidates for further analyses. However, the genome-wide analyses (a few array-CGH, six GWAS, and some small exome sequencing studies) performed so far have not lead to improved clinical diagnostic testing. In 2017, we started to routinely analyse the three validated male infertility genes: NR5A1, DMRT1, and TEX11. Preliminary analyses demonstrated highly likely pathogenic mutations in these genes as a cause of azoospermia in 4 men, equalling 5% of the 80 patients analysed so far, and increasing the diagnostic yield in this group to 25%. Over the past few years, we have observed a steep increase in publications on novel candidate genes for male infertility, especially in men with azoospermia. In addition, concerted efforts to achieve progress in elucidating genetic causes of male infertility and to introduce novel testing strategies into clinical routine have been made recently. Thus, we are confident that major breakthroughs concerning the genetics of male infertility will be achieved in the near future and will translate into clinical routine to improve patient/couple care.
Project description:The role of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene mutations in congenital bilateral absence of vas deferens and unilateral renal agenesis (CBAVD-URA) has been controversial. Here, we report the cases of five Indian males with CBAVD-URA. The objective was to evaluate the presence or absence of CFTR gene mutations and variants in CBAVD-URA. The female partners of these males were also screened for cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier status.Direct DNA sequencing of CFTR gene was carried out in five Indian infertile males having CBAVD-URA. Female partners (n=5) and healthy controls (n=32) were also screened.Three potential regulatory CFTR gene variants (c.1540A>G, c.2694T>G and c.4521G>A) were detected along with IVS8-5T mutation in three infertile males with CBAVD-URA. Five novel CFTR gene variants (c.621+91A>G, c.2752+106A>T, c.2751+85_88delTA, c.3120+529InsC and c.4375-69C>T), four potential regulatory CFTR gene variants (M470V, T854T, P1290P, Q1463Q) and seven previously reported CFTR gene variants (c.196+12T>C, c.875+40A>G, c.3041-71G>C, c.3271+42A>T, c.3272-93T>C, c.3500-140A>C and c.3601-65C>A) were detected in infertile men having CBAVD and renal anomalies Interpretation & conclusions: Based on our findings, we speculate that CBAVD-URA may also be attributed to CFTR gene mutations and can be considered as CFTR-related disorder (CFTR-RD). The CFTR gene mutation screening may be offered to CBAVD-URA men and their female partners undergoing ICSI. Further studies need to be done in a large sample to confirm the findings.
Project description:Male infertility is considered a common health problem, and non-obstructive azoospermia with unclear pathogenesis is one of the most challenging tasks for clinicians. The objective of this study was to investigate the differential serum metabolic pattern in non-obstructive azoospermic men and to determine potential biomarkers related to spermatogenic dysfunction. Serum samples from patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (n = 22) and healthy controls (n = 31) were examined using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). Serum metabolomic profiling could differentiate non-obstructive azoospermic patients from healthy control subjects. A total of 24 metabolites were screened and identified as potential markers, many of which are involved in energy production, oxidative stress and cell apoptosis in spermatogenesis. Moreover, the results showed that various metabolic pathways, including d-glutamine and d-glutamate metabolism, taurine and hypotaurine metabolism, pyruvate metabolism, the citrate cycle and alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism, were disrupted in patients with non-obstructive azoospermia. Our results indicated that the serum metabolic disorders may contribute to the etiology of non-obstructive azoospermia. This study suggested that serum metabolomics could identify unique metabolic patterns of non-obstructive azoospermia and provide novel insights into the pathogenesis underlying male infertility.