New gene identified as a cause of male infertility

March 15, 2011, University of Dundee

An international research collaboration - including the University of Dundee - has identified a gene responsible for one of the causes of male infertility.

The gene discovery relates to a condition known as round headed sperm, or globozoospermia, which affects a small percentage of men suffering from infertility problems.

Until now the main cause of the condition was unknown but new research involving the University of Strasbourg, Farah Hospital Amman in Jordan, and the University of Dundee has established that a genetic defect has a sterilising effect on the men’s sperm.

'What we have established is a clear cause for this form of ,' said Professor Christopher Barratt, of the Reproductive and Developmental Biology Group in the School of Medicine at Dundee.

'It is not a particularly common condition - around one in 12 men suffer from infertility problems and round headed sperm accounts for only a small percentage of that number. But it is important that we find causes and treatments for all forms of male .

'With this condition, now that we have identified the genetic defect and shown that it is the common cause of round headed , we are able to offer successful treatments and there have been positive results in using assisted conception for families.'

The research was sparked by the identification of a family of five brothers in Jordan who all had globozoospermia, four of whom were found to have the . Additionally, other men with the disorder from France and North Africa have been show to have the defective gene.

The study is published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

More information: American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 88, Issue 3, 11 March 2011, Pages 344-350. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.01.018

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Peers' genes may help friends stay in school, new study finds

January 18, 2018
While there's scientific evidence to suggest that your genes have something to do with how far you'll go in school, new research by a team from Stanford and elsewhere says the DNA of your classmates also plays a role.

Two new breast cancer genes emerge from Lynch syndrome gene study

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian have identified two new breast cancer genes. Having one of the genes—MSH6 and PMS2—approximately doubles a woman's risk of developing breast ...

A centuries-old math equation used to solve a modern-day genetics challenge

January 18, 2018
Researchers developed a new mathematical tool to validate and improve methods used by medical professionals to interpret results from clinical genetic tests. The work was published this month in Genetics in Medicine.

Can mice really mirror humans when it comes to cancer?

January 18, 2018
A new Michigan State University study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer.

Group recreates DNA of man who died in 1827 despite having no body to work with

January 16, 2018
An international team of researchers led by a group with deCODE Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company in Iceland, has partly recreated the DNA of a man who died in 1827, despite having no body to take tissue samples from. ...

Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors

January 16, 2018
Scientists have long tried to pin down the causes of autism spectrum disorder. Recent studies have expanded the search for genetic links from identifying genes toward epigenetics, the study of factors that control gene expression ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.