Female Infertility Caused by Mutations in the Oocyte-Specific Translational Repressor PATL2.
ABSTRACT: Infertility is a relatively common disorder of the reproductive system and remains unexplained in many cases. In vitro fertilization techniques have uncovered previously unrecognized infertility phenotypes, including oocyte maturation arrest, the molecular etiology of which remains largely unknown. We report two families affected by female-limited infertility caused by oocyte maturation failure. Positional mapping and whole-exome sequencing revealed two homozygous, likely deleterious variants in PATL2, each of which fully segregates with the phenotype within the respective family. PATL2 encodes a highly conserved oocyte-specific mRNP repressor of translation. Previous data have shown the strict requirement for PATL2 in oocyte-maturation in model organisms. Data gathered from the families in this study suggest that the role of PATL2 is conserved in humans and expand our knowledge of the factors that are necessary for female meiosis.
Project description:Oocyte maturation arrest results in female infertility, but the genetic determinants of human oocyte maturation arrest remain largely unknown. Previously, we identified TUBB8 mutations responsible for human oocyte maturation arrest, indicating the important role of genetic factors in the disorder. However, TUBB8 mutations account for only around 30% of individuals with oocyte maturation arrest; thus, the disorder is likely to involve other genetic factors that are as yet unknown. Here, we initially identified a homozygous nonsense mutation of PATL2 (c.784C>T [p.Arg262?]) in a consanguineous family with a phenotype characterized by human oocyte germinal vesicle (GV) arrest. Subsequent mutation screening of PATL2 in a cohort of 179 individuals identified four additional independent individuals with compound-heterozygous PATL2 mutations with slight phenotypic variability. A genetic burden test further confirmed the genetic contribution of PATL2 to human oocyte maturation arrest. By western blot in HeLa cells, identification of splicing events in affected individuals' granulosa cells, and immunostaining in affected individuals' oocytes, we provide evidence that mutations in PATL2 lead to decreased amounts of protein. These findings suggest an important role for PATL2 mutations in oocyte maturation arrest and expand our understanding of the genetic basis of female infertility.
Project description:The genetic causes of oocyte meiotic deficiency (OMD), a form of primary infertility characterised by the production of immature oocytes, remain largely unexplored. Using whole exome sequencing, we found that 26% of a cohort of 23 subjects with OMD harboured the same homozygous nonsense pathogenic mutation in PATL2, a gene encoding a putative RNA-binding protein. Using Patl2 knockout mice, we confirmed that PATL2 deficiency disturbs oocyte maturation, since oocytes and zygotes exhibit morphological and developmental defects, respectively. PATL2's amphibian orthologue is involved in the regulation of oocyte mRNA as a partner of CPEB However, Patl2's expression profile throughout oocyte development in mice, alongside colocalisation experiments with Cpeb1, Msy2 and Ddx6 (three oocyte RNA regulators) suggest an original role for Patl2 in mammals. Accordingly, transcriptomic analysis of oocytes from WT and Patl2-/- animals demonstrated that in the absence of Patl2, expression levels of a select number of highly relevant genes involved in oocyte maturation and early embryonic development are deregulated. In conclusion, PATL2 is a novel actor of mammalian oocyte maturation whose invalidation causes OMD in humans.
Project description:The genetic causes of oocyte meiotic deficiency (OMD), a form of primary infertility characterised by the production of immature oocytes, remain largely unexplored. Using whole exome sequencing, we found that 26% of a cohort of 23 subjects with OMD harboured the same homozygous nonsense pathogenic mutation in PATL2, a gene encoding a putative RNA-binding protein. Using Patl2 knockout mice, we confirmed that PATL2 deficiency disturbs oocyte maturation, since oocytes and zygotes exhibit morphological and developmental defects respectively. PATL2's amphibian orthologue is involved in the regulation of oocyte mRNA as a partner of CPEB. However, Patl2's expression profile throughout oocyte development in mice, alongside colocalisation experiments with Cpeb1, Msy2 and Ddx6 (three oocyte RNA-regulators) suggest an original role for Patl2 in Mammals. Accordingly, transcriptomic analysis of oocytes from WT and Patl2-/- animals demonstrated that in the absence of Patl2, expression levels of a select number of highly relevant genes involved in oocyte maturation and early embryonic development are deregulated. In conclusion, PATL2 is a novel actor of mammalian oocyte maturation whose invalidation causes OMD in humans.
Project description:Ten to 15% of couples are infertile, with the most common causes being linked to the production of few or no oocytes or sperm. Yet, our understanding of human germ cell development is poor, at least in part due to the inaccessibility of early stages to genetic and developmental studies. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) provide an in vitro system to study oocyte development and potentially treat female infertility. However, most studies of ESC differentiation to oocytes have not documented fundamental properties of endogenous development, making it difficult to determine the physiologic relevance of differentiated germ cells. Here, we sought to establish fundamental parameters of oocyte development during ESC differentiation to explore suitability for basic developmental genetic applications using the mouse as a model prior to translating to the human system. We demonstrate a timeline of definitive germ cell differentiation from ESCs in vitro that initially parallels endogenous oocyte development in vivo by single-cell expression profiling and analysis of functional milestones including responsiveness to defined maturation media, shared genetic requirement of Dazl, and entry into meiosis. However, ESC-derived oocyte maturation ultimately fails in vitro. To overcome this obstacle, we transplant ESC-derived oocytes into an ovarian niche to direct their functional maturation and, thereby, present rigorous evidence of oocyte physiologic relevance and a potential therapeutic strategy for infertility.
Project description:Background Human reproduction depends on the fusion of a mature oocyte with a sperm cell to form a fertilized egg. The genetic events that lead to the arrest of human oocyte maturation are unknown. Methods We sequenced the exomes of five members of a four-generation family, three of whom had infertility due to oocyte meiosis I arrest. We performed Sanger sequencing of a candidate gene, TUBB8, in DNA samples from these members, additional family members, and members of 23 other affected families. The expression of TUBB8 and all other ?-tubulin isotypes was assessed in human oocytes, early embryos, sperm cells, and several somatic tissues by means of a quantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction assay. We evaluated the effect of the TUBB8 mutations on the assembly of the heterodimer consisting of one ?-tubulin polypeptide and one ?-tubulin polypeptide (?/?-tubulin heterodimer) in vitro, on microtubule architecture in HeLa cells, on microtubule dynamics in yeast cells, and on spindle assembly in mouse and human oocytes. Results We identified seven mutations in the primate-specific gene TUBB8 that were responsible for oocyte meiosis I arrest in 7 of the 24 families. TUBB8 expression is unique to oocytes and the early embryo, in which this gene accounts for almost all the expressed ?-tubulin. The mutations affect chaperone-dependent folding and assembly of the ?/?-tubulin heterodimer, disrupt microtubule behavior on expression in cultured cells, alter microtubule dynamics in vivo, and cause catastrophic spindle-assembly defects and maturation arrest on expression in mouse and human oocytes. Conclusions TUBB8 mutations have dominant-negative effects that disrupt microtubule behavior and oocyte meiotic spindle assembly and maturation, causing female infertility. (Funded by the National Basic Research Program of China and others.).
Project description:Infertility is a significant clinical problem. It affects 8-12% of couples worldwide, about 30% of whom are diagnosed with idiopathic infertility (infertility lacking any obvious cause). In 2010, the World Health Organization calculated that 1.9% of child-seeking women aged 20-44 years were unable to have a first live birth (primary infertility), and 10.5% of child-seeking women with a prior live birth were unable to have an additional live birth (secondary infertility). About 50% of all infertility cases are due to female reproductive defects. Several chromosome aberrations, diagnosed by karyotype analysis, have long been known to be associated with female infertility and monogenic mutations have also recently been found. Female infertility primarily involves oogenesis. The following phenotypes are associated with monogenic female infertility: premature ovarian failure, ovarian dysgenesis, oocyte maturation defects, early embryo arrest, polycystic ovary syndrome and recurrent pregnancy loss. Here we summarize the genetic causes of non-syndromic monogenic female infertility and the genes analyzed by our genetic test.
Project description:Genetic errors in meiosis can lead to birth defects and spontaneous abortions. Checkpoint mechanisms of hitherto unknown nature eliminate oocytes with unrepaired DNA damage, causing recombination-defective mutant mice to be sterile. Here, we report that checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2 or Chek2), is essential for culling mouse oocytes bearing unrepaired meiotic or induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Female infertility caused by a meiotic recombination mutation or irradiation was reversed by mutation of Chk2. Both meiotically programmed and induced DSBs trigger CHK2-dependent activation of TRP53 (p53) and TRP63 (p63), effecting oocyte elimination. These data establish CHK2 as essential for DNA damage surveillance in female meiosis and indicate that the oocyte DSB damage response primarily involves a pathway hierarchy in which ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) signals to CHK2, which then activates p53 and p63.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Female infertility is a worldwide concern and the etiology of infertility has not been thoroughly demonstrated. Although the mouse is a good model system to perform functional studies, the differences between mouse and human also need to be considered. The objective of this study is to elucidate the different molecular mechanisms underlying oocyte maturation and fertilization between human and mouse. RESULTS:A comparative transcriptome analysis was performed to identify the differentially expressed genes and associated biological processes between human and mouse oocytes. In total, 8513 common genes, as well as 15,165 and 6126 uniquely expressed genes were detected in human and mouse MII oocytes, respectively. Additionally, the ratios of non-homologous genes in human and mouse MII oocytes were 37 and 8%, respectively. Functional categorization analysis of the human MII non-homologous genes revealed that cAMP-mediated signaling, sister chromatid cohesin, and cell recognition were the major enriched biological processes. Interestingly, we couldn't detect any GO categories in mouse non-homologous genes. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates that human and mouse oocytes exhibit significant differences in gene expression profiles during oocyte maturation, which probably deciphers the differential molecular responses to oocyte maturation and fertilization. The significant differences between human and mouse oocytes limit the generalizations from mouse to human oocyte maturation. Knowledge about the limitations of animal models is crucial when exploring a complex process such as human oocyte maturation and fertilization.
Project description:Excessive long-term fluoride intake is associated with several health problems, including infertility. However, limited information is available on the toxic effects of fluoride exposure on the female reproductive system, especially oocyte maturation. In this study, we investigated the toxic effect of sodium fluoride (NaF) exposure on porcine oocyte maturation and its possible underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that NaF exposure during porcine oocyte maturation inhibited cumulus cell expansion and impaired polar body extrusion. Cell cycle analysis showed that NaF exposure blocked meiotic resumption, disturbed spindle dynamics, disrupted chromosome separation, and increased aneuploidy in porcine oocytes. Moreover, NaF exposure disturbed mitochondrial function, triggered DNA damage response, and induced early apoptosis in porcine oocytes. NaF exposure also induced oxidative stress, decreased GSH level, and increased cathepsin B activity in and impaired the further development potential of porcine oocytes, as indicated by a decrease in blastocyst formation rate, increase in apoptosis, and inhibition of cell proliferation. Together, these results indicate that NaF exposure impairs the maturation capacity of porcine oocytes by inhibiting cumulus cell expansion, disturbing cytoskeletal dynamics, and blocking nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation, thus decreasing the quality and affecting the subsequent embryonic development potential of porcine oocytes.
Project description:The process of follicular development involves communications between oocyte and surrounding granulosa cells. FURIN is a member of the family of proprotein convertases that is involved in the activation of a large number of zymogens and proproteins by cleavage at its recognition motif. To investigate the functions of FURIN in female fertility, furinflox/flox (furfl/fl) mice were crossed with Zp3-Cre mice and Gdf9-Cre, respectively, to achieve oocyte-specific disruption of FURIN. Here we report for the first time that FURIN is dispensable for primordial follicle maintenance and activation but important for early secondary follicular development, as ablation of FURIN in oocytes caused failure of follicle development beyond the type 4 and/or 5a follicles in mutant mice, resulting in increased number of early secondary follicles and the severely decreased number of mature follicles, thus anovulation and infertility. We also found that the developmental arrest of early secondary follicles might be rooted in the loss of the mature form of ADAMTS1 (85-kDa prodomain truncated) and compromised proliferation of granulosa cells in mutant mice. Taken together, our data highlight the importance of FURIN in follicle development beyond the early secondary follicle stage and indicate that compromised FURIN function leads to follicular dysplasia and female infertility in mice.