Members of the CDY family have different expression patterns: CDY1 transcripts have the best correlation with complete spermatogenesis
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The CDY family of genes is of special interest because some of them are included in chromosome-Y microdeletions detected among infertile men and are apparently involved in the spermiogenetic process. In this study, we employed the reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction technique to test the RNA expression of the various transcripts of these genes in testicular biopsies of 84 azoospermic men who had been classified by comprehensive histology and cytology analyses. We also evaluated the feasibility of detecting CDY expression in biopsies taken by testicular sperm extraction versus acquisition by aspiration. There was a significant association between the type of testicular impairment and the expression of CDY1 and CDY2 transcripts. CDY2 was expressed whenever germ cells were present, but CDY1 major and especially CDY1 minor and short transcripts were identified almost exclusively when mature spermatids/spermatozoa were detected. The expression of CDY1 minor and short transcripts detected in aspirated specimens was less efficient than that in testicular tissue acquired by extraction. It is sugested that CDY2 is apparently required in the early stages of spermatogenesis, whereas CDY1 transcripts are required later on in the process. The findings of this study imply different functional roles for CDY isoforms during spermatogenesis. However, in consideration of the high levels of identity between CDY1 and CDY2 (98% at the protein level), the delayed up-regulation of CDY1 transcripts could be attributable to temporal changes in dosage requirements.
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