Gene on X chromosome has role in male fertility, find Hyderabad researchers

Using next-generation sequencing (NGS), the researchers compared all gene coding regions (exons) between infertile and fertile males.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.

HYDERABAD: In a first, Dr K Thangaraj, Dr P Chandra Shekar and Dr Swasti Raychaudhuri at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad have identified that the gene ‘TEX13B’ is essential for male fertility and development of sperm cells.

Other institutions involved in the study, which was published in the ‘Human Reproduction’ journal, are the Infertility Institute and Research Center (IIRC) at Mamata Fertility Hospital in the city, Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Kolkata and the Genetic Research Centre at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive and Child Health in Mumbai.

Using next-generation sequencing (NGS), the researchers compared all gene coding regions (exons) between infertile and fertile males. “We found two causative mutations in the TEX13B gene, of which one was exclusively found in infertile men and other one is found much more frequently in infertile men compared to fertile control men,” said Dr Umesh Kumar, the first author and a former PhD student of CCMB, who is presently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan, US.

Elaborating further, Dr K Thangaraj said, “The TEX13B is present on the X chromosome, which all males receive only from their mothers, and not from their fathers! It means that the mother who carries the faulty TEX13B is fertile (as she carries two X chromosomes). But, when she transmits the X chromosome with the faulty TEX13B, her son becomes infertile. This is not what we generally expect to be an underlying cause of male infertility.”

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