[Function of aurora kinase C (AURKC) in human reproduction]

Abstract : Infertility concerns at least 70 million couples worldwide. An important proportion of cases is believed to have a genetic component, yet few causal genes have been identified so far. Hundreds of genes are probably involved in spermatogenesis and oogenesis and this genetic heterogeneity has so far hindered the identification of genes causing infertility in the human. Careful morphological examination of spermatozoa can provide cues to identify homogeneous cohorts of patients likely to have the same genetic defect. We studied a cohort of North-Africans patients with a rare phenotype of large-headed spermatozoa. Using a homozygosity mapping strategy, we could map the morbid gene and we identified the same homozygous mutation (c.144delC) in the aurora kinase C gene (AURKC) of all patients studied initially. We then genotyped a total of 62 patients. All who had a typical phenotype with close to 100% large-headed spermatozoa were homozygously mutated (n=34), whereas no AURKC mutations were detected in the others. A carrier frequency of 1/50 was established from individuals from the Maghrebian population, indicating that 1 in 10,000 men from North-African can be expected to present this form of infertility, a frequency comparable to that of Y-microdeletions, thus far the only known recurrent genetic event altering spermatogenesis. Then we demonstrated by flow cytometry that all spermatozoa have in fact a homogeneous 4C. We recommend the realisation of a molecular diagnosis to all patients with large-headed spermatozoa. ICSI is formally contraindicated for all homozygous patients who can have recourse to donor sperm or adoption. One cannot be as categorical for the patients not harbouring an AURKC mutation.
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Gynécologie Obstétrique et Fertilité, Elsevier Masson, 2009, 37 (6), pp.546-51. 〈10.1016/j.gyobfe.2009.04.002〉
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Radu Harbuz, Raoudha Zouari, Klaus Dieterich, Yorgos Nikas, Joël Lunardi, et al.. [Function of aurora kinase C (AURKC) in human reproduction]. Gynécologie Obstétrique et Fertilité, Elsevier Masson, 2009, 37 (6), pp.546-51. 〈10.1016/j.gyobfe.2009.04.002〉. 〈inserm-00515896〉

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