Male infertility is currently one of the most common problems faced by couples worldwide. We performed a GWAS on Greek population and gathered statistically significant SNPs in order to investigate whether they lie within or near lncRNA regions.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether polymorphisms on or near lncRNAs affect interactions with miRNAs and can cause male infertility.
Materials and methods
In the present study, a GWAS was conducted, using samples from 159 individuals (83 normozoospermic individuals and 76 patients of known fertility issues). Standard procedures for quality controls and association testing were followed, based on case-control testing.
We detected six lncRNAs (LINC02231, LINC00347, LINC02134, NCRNA00157, LINC02493, Lnc-CASK-1) that are associated with male infertility through their interaction with miRNAs. Furthermore, we identified the genes targeted by those miRNAs and highlighted their functions in spermatogenesis and the fertilization process.
Discussion and conclusion
lncRNAs are involved in spermatogenesis through their interaction with miRNAs. Thus, their study is very important, and it may contribute to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying male infertility.
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This work is supported by the Spermogene project which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH–CREATE–INNOVATE (Grant number Τ1ΕΔΚ-02787).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All the participants were informed about the study and they gave their consent in order to participate by filling out a questionnaire along with the consent form. Both the study and the consent procedure were approved by the ethics committee of the Medical Faculty of the University of Thessaly.
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Maria-Anna Kyrgiafini and Maria Markantoni are joint first authors
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Kyrgiafini, MA., Markantoni, M., Sarafidou, T. et al. Genome-wide association study identifies candidate markers related to lincRNAs associated with male infertility in the Greek population. J Assist Reprod Genet 37, 2869–2881 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10815-020-01937-w
- Male infertility
- Greek population