Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, 28:737

First online:

Study of GT-repeat expansion in Heme oxygenase-1 gene promoter as genetic cause of male infertility

  • Elham SiasiAffiliated withTarbiat Modarres University
  • , Ahmad AleyasinAffiliated withNational Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Email author 
  • , Seyed Javad MowlaAffiliated withTarbiat Modarres University
  • , Hamid SahebkashafAffiliated withNavide Institute of Infertility

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The length of GT-repeats polymorphic region in the promoter of human Heme oxygenase-1 gene (HO-1) alters the level of its transcriptional activity in response to oxidative stresses. Decreased level of HO-1 protein in the seminal plasma has been reported to be associated with oligospermia and azoospermia in male infertility. This is the first study to investigate the association between GT-repeats expansion in the promoter of the HO-1 gene and male infertility.


The frequencies of different GT-repeats alleles in the promoter of HO-1 gene were determined in 100 cases and 100 normal controls using PCR-PAGE, ABI fragment analysis genotyping and sequencing analysis.


All alleles were classified into S and L alleles. S alleles were specified as number 0 to 3 with <27 GT-repeats and L alleles were specified as number 4 to 6 with >27 repeats. The L allele frequency was significantly higher among case group (54.5%) than that was obtained in the normal control group (37.5%). Statistical analysis provided a significant relationship between L allele and male infertility (P < 0.001).


This study shows for the first time that GT-repeats expansion in promoter of the HO-1 gene is associated with oligospermia and azoospermia among Iranian infertile cases.


Male infertility Heme oxygenase-1 gene Polymorphism Oxidative stress