Single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of exon-containing genomic DNA segments of the deleted-in-azoospermia-like (DAZL) gene was performed in 160 infertile Taiwanese men presenting with severe oligozoospermia and nonobstructive azoospermia. An A→G transition at nucleotide 386 in exon 3 was identified. The mutation is located within the RNA-recognition motif (aa 32-117) domain of the DAZL protein and will lead to Thr54→Ala change (T54A) of DAZL protein. Analysis of cDNA from testicular tissue of infertile carriers showed absence of expression for the T54A allele, implying that the allele carrying T54A polymorphism is hardly, if ever, expressed. The frequencies of T54A allele in patients and the control group were 7.39% and 0.86%, respectively (P = 0.0003). The phenotypes varied significantly in cases with heterozygous T54A polymorphism, ranging from hypospermatogenesis and maturation arrest to Sertoli cell-only syndrome. A combination of DAZ gene deletion and T54A polymorphism did not worsen the phenotype. Our findings provide strong evidence for the role of the autosomal DAZL gene in human spermatogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical