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ASTL is mutated in female infertility


Female infertility is a relatively common phenotype with a growing number of single gene causes although these account for only a minority of cases. Here, we report a consanguineous family in which adult females who are homozygous for a truncating variant in ASTL display markedly reduced fertility in a pattern strikingly similar to Astl−/− female mice. ASTL encodes ovastacin, which is known to trigger zona pellucida hardening (ZPH) as part of the cortical reaction upon fertilization. ZPH is required for normal early embryonic development and its absence can be caused by pathogenic variants in other zona pellucida proteins that result in a similar infertility phenotype in humans and mouse. This is the first report of ASTL-related infertility in humans and suggests that the inclusion of ASTL in female infertility gene panels is warranted.

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Correspondence to Fowzan S. Alkuraya.

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Maddirevula, S., Coskun, S., Al-Qahtani, M. et al. ASTL is mutated in female infertility. Hum Genet (2021).

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