Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary For males with idiopathic sterility, a molecular screen specific for small lesions (microdeletions) in interval 6 of the Y chromosome was set up using 29 Y-DNA probes. A “de novo” microdeletion in Y interval 6 was detected in 2 out of 19 “chromosomally normal” sterile males. The first microdeletion includes the Y-DNA probes pY6HP35 and 12f3; the second microdeletion includes the Y-DNA probes pY6HP52, 49f, FR15-II and the subinterval “C” of probe 50f2. A probe of the pY6H sequence family is present in both deletions. Sequences of this family cross-hybridize to dhMiF1, a DNA sequence of a fertility gene structure on the Y chromosome of Drosophila hydei. It was possible to map the position of the Y-deletion of one patient to the distal part of Yq11.22 or the proximal part of Yq11.23, and the deletion of the second patient to the distal part of Yq11.23. These microdeletions probably do not overlap. Since AZF, a human spermatogenesis gene, has been mapped to Y interval 6, we postulate that the microdeletions detected in this chromosome region affect the functional DNA structure of the AZF gene. If this holds true, it is possible that the AZF locus, cytogenetically mapped to distal Yq11, contains two spermatogenesis genes (AZFa and AZFb) or a large gene structure comparable to the Y fertility genes of Drosophila.
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