Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Epigenetic Inactivation of SOX30 Is Associated with Male Infertility and Offers a Therapy Target for Non-obstructive Azoospermia

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  • Fei Han
  • Xiao Jiang
  • Zhi ming Li
  • Xuan Zhuang
  • Xi Zhang
  • Wei ming Ouyang
  • Wen bin Liu
  • Cheng yi Mao
  • Qing Chen
  • Chuan shu Huang
  • Gao, Fei
  • Zhi hong Cui
  • Lin Ao
  • Yan feng Li
  • Jia Cao
  • Jin yi Liu

Non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) is the most severe form of male infertility. However, the etiology of NOA is largely unknown, resulting in a lack of clinical treatments. Here, we performed a comparative genome-wide profiling of DNA methylation and identified SOX30 as the most notably hyper-methylated gene at promoter in testicular tissues from NOA patients. This hyper-methylation at promoter of SOX30 directly causes its silencing of expression in NOA. The reduced levels of SOX30 expression are correlated with severity of NOA disease. Deletion of Sox30 in mice uniquely impairs testis development and spermatogenesis with complete absence of spermatozoa in testes leading to male infertility, but does not influence ovary development and female fertility. The pathology and testicular size of Sox30 null mice highly simulate those of NOA patients. Re-expression of Sox30 in Sox30 null mice at adult age reverses the pathological damage of testis and restores the spermatogenesis. The re-presented spermatozoa after re-expression of Sox30 in Sox30 null mice have the ability to start a pregnancy. Moreover, the male offspring of Sox30 re-expression Sox30 null mice still can father children, and these male offspring and their children can live normally more than 1 year without significant difference of physical appearance compared with wild-type mice. In summary, methylated inactivation of SOX30 uniquely impairs spermatogenesis, probably causing NOA disease, and re-expression of SOX30 can successfully restore the spermatogenesis and actual fertility. This study advances our understanding of the pathogenesis of NOA, offering a promising therapy target for NOA disease.

TidsskriftMolecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids
Sider (fra-til)72-83
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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