Gene copy number alterations in the azoospermia-associated AZFc region and their effect on spermatogenic impairment

Chuncheng Lu, Jie Jiang, Ruyang Zhang, Ying Wang, Miaofei Xu, Yufeng Qin, Yuan Lin, Xuejiang Guo, Bixian Ni, Yang Zhao, Nancy Diao, Feng Chen, Hongbing Shen, Jiahao Sha, Yankai Xia, Zhibin Hu, Xinru Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The azoospermia factor c (AZFc) region in the long arm of human Y chromosome is characterized by massive palindromes. It harbors eight multi-copy gene families that are expressed exclusively or predominantly in testis. To assess systematically the role of the AZFc region and these eight gene families in spermatogenesis, we conducted a comprehensive molecular analysis (including Y chromosome haplogrouping, AZFc deletion typing and gene copy quantification) in 654 idiopathic infertilemen and 781 healthy controls in a Han Chinese population. The b2/b3 partial deletion (including both deletion-only and deletion-duplication) was consistently associated with spermatogenic impairment. In the subjects without partial AZFc deletions, a notable finding was that the frequency of DAZ and/or BPY2 copy number alterations in the infertile groupwas significantly higher than in the controls. Combined patterns of DAZ and/or BPY2 copy number abnormality were associated with spermatogenic impairment when compared with the pattern of all AZFc genes with common level copies. In addition, in Y chromosome haplogroup O1 (Y-hg O1), the frequency of copy number alterations of all eight gene families was significantly higher in the case group than that in the control group. Our findings indicate that the DAZ, BPY2 genes may be prominent players in spermatogenesis, and genomic rearrangements may be enriched in individuals belonging to Y-hg O1. Our findings emphasize the necessity of routine molecular analysis of AZFc structural variation during the workup of azoospermia and/or oligozoospermia, which may diminish the genetic risk of assisted reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbergau043
Pages (from-to)836-843
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Volume20
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • AZFc
  • Copy number alteration
  • Spermatogenic impairment
  • Y chromosome haplogroup

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gene copy number alterations in the azoospermia-associated AZFc region and their effect on spermatogenic impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Lu, C., Jiang, J., Zhang, R., Wang, Y., Xu, M., Qin, Y., Lin, Y., Guo, X., Ni, B., Zhao, Y., Diao, N., Chen, F., Shen, H., Sha, J., Xia, Y., Hu, Z., & Wang, X. (2014). Gene copy number alterations in the azoospermia-associated AZFc region and their effect on spermatogenic impairment. Molecular Human Reproduction, 20(9), 836-843. [gau043]. https://doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gau043