We have previously reported a high rate of tetranucleotide DNA repeat mutations, including mutations of both germline and somatic origin, in spontaneous human abortions. To analyze in more detail mutational microsatellite (MS) variability in meiosis and its possible association with disturbed embryonic development, we have conducted a comparative study of mutation rates of a panel of 15 autosomal tetranucleotide MSs in 55 families with healthy children and in 103 families that have had spontaneous abortions with normal karyotypes. In the families with miscarriage, the gametic MS mutation rate was higher than in the families with normal reproductive function (4.36 × 10−3 versus 2.32 × 10−3 per locus per gamete per generation), but this difference was statistically nonsignificant (P = 0.25). No association of MS mutations with familiar miscarriage was found. Mutations at the MS loci studied were recorded almost 3 times as often in spermatogenesis as in oogenesis, which is likely to result from a greater number of DNA replication cycles in male germline cell precursors than in female ones. Mutations increasing and reducing the MS sequence length appeared at virtually the same rate. Changes in MS DNA sequence length per one repeated element, i.e., single-step mutations (93% of cases) exceeded all other events of allele length change. The highest number of mutations (81.2%) was found in longer alleles. This distribution of mutations by size, direction, and parental origin corresponds to the multistep mutation model of their emergence via mechanism of DNA strand slippage during replication.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 9, 2005
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