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Reprod Biomed Online. 2005 Jan;10(1):14-41.

Molecular pathology of the CFTR locus in male infertility.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire et Chromosomique, CHU de Montpellier, Institut Universitaire de Recherche Clinique (IURC), 641 Avenue du Doyen Gaston Giraud, 34093, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


Congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) is a form of infertility with an autosomal recessive genetic background in otherwise healthy males. CBAVD is caused by cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene mutations on both alleles in approximately 80% of cases. Striking CFTR genotypic differences are observed in cystic fibrosis (CF) and in CBAVD. The 5T allele is a CBAVD mutation with incomplete penetrance. Recent evidence confirmed that a second polymorphic locus exists and is a major CFTR modifier. The development of minigene models have led to results suggesting that CFTR exon 9 is skipped in humans because of unusual suboptimal 5' splice sites. An extremely rare T3 allele has been reported and it has recently been confirmed that the T3 allele dramatically increases exon 9 skipping and should be considered as a 'CF' mutation. Routine testing for the most prevalent mutations in the CF Caucasian population will miss most CFTR gene alterations, which can be detected only through exhaustive scanning of CFTR sequences. Finally, a higher than expected frequency of CFTR mutations and/or polymorphisms is now found in a growing number of monosymptomatic disorders, which creates a dilemma for setting nosologic boundaries between CF and diseases related to CFTR.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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