Expression Analysis of MLH3, MLH1, and MSH4 in Maturation Arrest


The expression of DNA mismatch repair (DMMR) genes in patients with maturation arrest (MA) was analyzed. Samples were subjected to mutL homolog 3 (MLH3) mutation analysis by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography/sequencing and quantification of MMR expression in testicular tissue by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Microsatellite instability assays were negative. Two missense and 1 intronic mutations were found. The missense mutation 2531C/T (P844 L), predicted to affect MLH3 function, was found in 3 MA cases in association with the intronic variant IVS9 + 66G/A. Relative messenger RNA (mRNA) quantification identified 2 patients who overexpressed MLH3, 1 of them also overexpressing mutL homolog 1 (MLH1). The latter also presented the 2531C/T-IVS9 + 66G/A mutation. In conclusion, we suggest that a predominance of MLH3 expression might favor the MLH1/MLH3 complex which then would compete with the MLH1/PMS2 complexes. This could convey disruption of the relative stoichiometry between MLH1/MLH3 and MLH1/PMS2 complexes, thus causing meiosis failure, as MLH1/PMS2 complexes are supposed to replace MLH1/MLH3 during diplonema.

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Correspondence to Mário Sousa MD, PhD.

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Ferrás, C., Fernandes, S., Silva, J. et al. Expression Analysis of MLH3, MLH1, and MSH4 in Maturation Arrest. Reprod. Sci. 19, 587–596 (2012) doi:10.1177/1933719111428521

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  • expression analysis
  • human meiosis
  • maturation arrest
  • MLH3
  • MMR genes