Investigating the relationship between BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes methylation profile and sperm DNA fragmentation in infertile men.

The purpose of the study was to investigate whether the promoter methylation status of BRCA1 and BRCA2 DNA repair genes is associated with sperm DNA fragmentation (sDF) in infertile men with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT) which emerges due to various reasons and is effective in male infertility. Seventy-three infertile men with OAT and 20 normozoospermic volunteers participated in the study. To investigate sDF and methylation patterns of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene promoters, TUNEL assay and methylation-specific PCR (MS-PCR) were used. The mean sDF ratio for the patients was calculated as 22.50%. The calculated cut-off value for sDF ratio was 17.0% in ROC curve analysis. Regarding sDF, a significant difference between the normozoospermic group and the OAT group with abnormal semen parameters (p < 0.001) was found. sDF demonstrated a significant effect on the semen parameters and negative correlations on sDF ratios and sperm motility, concentration and morphology. There was no statistically significant association between sDF and the methylation status of the promoter of either BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. In routine clinical practice, sperm DNA integrity should be investigated before applying assisted reproductive techniques. To understand better the relationship between epigenetic regulation of DNA repair genes and male infertility, additional studies are required.

Andrologia. 2019 May 16 [Epub ahead of print]

Emel Kabartan, Sezgin Gunes, Mehmet Alper Arslan, Ramazan Asci

Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey., Department of Multidisciplinary Molecular Medicine, Health Sciences Institute, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey.