High incidence of mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene is associated with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) and is considered as the genital form of cystic fibrosis (CF). The CFTR gene may also be involved in the etiology of male infertility in cases other than CBAVD. The present study was conducted to identify the spectrum and frequency of CFTR gene mutations in infertile Indian males with non-CBAVD obstructive azoospermia (n=60) and spermatogenic failure (n=150). Conspicuously higher frequency of heterozygote F508del mutation was detected in infertile males with non-CBAVD obstructive azoospermia (11.6%) and spermatogenic failure (7.3%). Homozygous IVS(8)-5T allele frequency was also significantly higher in both groups in comparison to those in normal healthy individuals. Two mutations in exon 25 viz., R1358I and K1351R were identified as novel mutations in patients with non-CBAVD obstructive azoospermia. Mutation R1358I was predicted as probably damaging CFTR mutation. This is the first report from the Indian population, emphasizing increased frequency of CFTR gene mutations in male infertility other than CBAVD. Thus, it is suggested that screening of CFTR gene mutations may be required in infertile Indian males with other forms of infertility apart from CBAVD and willing for assisted reproduction technology.
Keywords: Assisted reproduction technology; CFTR; Cystic fibrosis; Male infertility; Mutations.
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