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Hum Genet. 2003 Aug;113(3):195-201. Epub 2003 Jun 14.

Mutational analysis of the human FATE gene in 144 infertile men.

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Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Rigshospitalet, DK-2100, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The FATE gene maps to Xq28 where one case of a translocation breakpoint has been found in an infertile man. Moreover, the FATE promoter contains a putative SF-1-binding site, and FATE has been proposed as representing a target gene of SF-1 in testicular development or germ cell differentiation. This study presents a complete mutational screening of the FATE gene in a random group of 144 infertile males. Four polymorphisms and two mutations were found. Three of the polymorphisms, viz., 741C-->T, 905A-->C, and 3985C-->T, occurred in exon 5 and intron 2 and did not alter the deduced polypeptide. One polymorphism resulted in the conservative amino acid exchange, A10 V, in 16.0% of the patients. This substitution occurred with similar frequencies in the control groups, indicating that the mutation does not affect fertility in men or women. The two mutations caused the non-conservative amino acid substitutions S125R (patient 1) and I34T (patient 2). A family study (patient 1) revealed, however, that S125R was inherited and that a fertile male family member carried the mutation. Patient 2 did not have relevant family members who could be examined. Thus, this study has shown that only 1.4% of infertile men have mutations in the FATE gene, and that some of these mutations do not singly cause infertility. Hence, FATE may not play an important role in the disease-state of infertile men attending fertility clinics. However, FATE mutations cannot be excluded as being a contributing factor in some cases of male infertility.

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