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Low XIST expression in Sertoli cells of Klinefelter syndrome patients caused the high susceptibility of these cells to an extra X chromosome

By LiangYu Zhao, Peng Li, ChenCheng Yao, XiaoYu Xing, Chao Yang, JiaQiang Luo, ZhiYong Ji, Ruhui Tian, HuiXing Chen, ZiJue Zhu, ZhiWen Deng, Na Li, Jing Fang, Jie Sun, ChenChen Wang, Zhi Zhou, Zheng Li

Posted 27 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.26.269423

Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is the most common genetic cause of human male infertility. Patients suffer from heterogeneous testicular atrophy with loss of both germ cells and Sertoli cells. However, the mechanism by which the extra X chromosome causes failure of spermatogenesis remains poorly understood. Here, we profiled testicular single-cell transcriptomes from three KS patients and compared the results with those of healthy donors. Among different somatic cells, Sertoli cells showed the greatest changes in KS patients. Further analysis showed that XIST, a key long intergenic non-coding RNA that inactivates one X chromosome in female mammals, was widely expressed in somatic cells, except for Sertoli cells, leading to an increase in X-inactivation genes in these cells, which may cause Sertoli cells death and disruption of the spermatogenic microenvironment. Our study proposed a new mechanism to explain the unique pathological manifestations of KS in the testes and provided a theoretical basis for subsequent research and related treatment.

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