Novel Y-chromosomal microdeletions associated with non-obstructive azoospermia uncovered by high throughput sequencing of sequence-tagged sites (STSs)

Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 24;6:21831. doi: 10.1038/srep21831.


Y-chromosomal microdeletion (YCM) serves as an important genetic factor in non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA). Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is routinely used to detect YCMs by tracing sequence-tagged sites (STSs) in the Y chromosome. Here we introduce a novel methodology in which we sequence 1,787 (post-filtering) STSs distributed across the entire male-specific Y chromosome (MSY) in parallel to uncover known and novel YCMs. We validated this approach with 766 Chinese men with NOA and 683 ethnically matched healthy individuals and detected 481 and 98 STSs that were deleted in the NOA and control group, representing a substantial portion of novel YCMs which significantly influenced the functions of spermatogenic genes. The NOA patients tended to carry more and rarer deletions that were enriched in nearby intragenic regions. Haplogroup O2* was revealed to be a protective lineage for NOA, in which the enrichment of b1/b3 deletion in haplogroup C was also observed. In summary, our work provides a new high-resolution portrait of deletions in the Y chromosome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Azoospermia / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Sequence Tagged Sites