Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Genet. 1999 Dec;23(4):429-32.

An azoospermic man with a de novo point mutation in the Y-chromosomal gene USP9Y.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Whitehead Institute, and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


In humans, deletion of any one of three Y-chromosomal regions- AZFa, AZFb or AZFc-disrupts spermatogenesis, causing infertility in otherwise healthy men. Although candidate genes have been identified in all three regions, no case of spermatogenic failure has been traced to a point mutation in a Y-linked gene, or to a deletion of a single Y-linked gene. We sequenced the AZFa region of the Y chromosome and identified two functional genes previously described: USP9Y (also known as DFFRY) and DBY (refs 7,8). Screening of the two genes in 576 infertile and 96 fertile men revealed several sequence variants, most of which appear to be heritable and of little functional consequence. We found one de novo mutation in USP9Y: a 4-bp deletion in a splice-donor site, causing an exon to be skipped and protein truncation. This mutation was present in a man with nonobstructive azoospermia (that is, no sperm was detected in semen), but absent in his fertile brother, suggesting that the USP9Y mutation caused spermatogenic failure. We also identified a single-gene deletion associated with spermatogenic failure, again involving USP9Y, by re-analysing a published study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center