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Exploring the micro-mosaic landscape of FGFR3 mutations in the ageing male germline and their potential implications in meiotic differentiation

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posted on 2024-03-08, 16:55 authored by Yasmin Striedner, Barbara Arbeithuber, Sofia Moura, Elisabeth Nowak, Ronja Reinhardt, Leila Muresan, Renato Salazar, Thomas Ebner, Irene Tiemann-Boege
Advanced paternal age increases the risk of transmitting de novo germline mutations, particularly missense mutations activating the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signalling pathway, as exemplified by the FGFR3 mutation, which is linked to achondroplasia (ACH). This risk is attributed to the expansion of spermatogonial stem cells carrying the mutation, forming sub-clonal clusters in the ageing testis, thereby increasing the frequency of mutant sperm and the number of affected offspring from older fathers. While prior studies proposed a correlation between sub-clonal cluster expansion in the testis and elevated mutant sperm production in older donors, limited data exist on the universality of this phenomenon. Our study addresses this gap by examining the testis-expansion patterns, as well as the increases in mutations in sperm for two FGFR3 variants—c.1138G>A (p.G380R) and c.1948A>G (p.K650E)—which are associated with ACH or thanatophoric dysplasia (TDII), respectively. Unlike the ACH mutation, which showed sub-clonal expansion events in an aged testis and a significant increase in mutant sperm with the donor’s age, as also reported in other studies, the TDII mutation showed focal mutation pockets in the testis but exhibited reduced transmission into sperm and no significant age-related increase. The mechanism behind this divergence remains unclear, suggesting potential pleiotropic effects of aberrant RTK signalling in the male germline, possibly hindering differentiation requiring meiosis. This study provides further insights into the transmission risks of micro-mosaics associated with advanced paternal age in the male germline.

History

Refereed

  • Yes

Volume

15

Issue number

2

Publication title

Genes

ISSN

2073-4425

Publisher

MDPI AG

File version

  • Published version

Language

  • eng

Affiliated with

  • School of Computing and Information Science Outputs

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