Mouse t-complex located on chromosome 17 contains genes affecting only male fertility. Some genes of this complex are recessive lethals; nonetheless, the high frequency of the t-complex carriers in a population is maintained due to a mechanism referred to as transmission ratio distortion (TRD), i.e., after crosses with wild-type females, males heterozygous for the t-complex transmit the t-bearing chromosome to nearly all their offspring, which suggests that the t-complex genes control sperm function. Analysis of this phenomenon shows that the resultant TRD is determined by the ratio between the distorter genes (Tcd) and a responder gene (Tcr) located within the t-complex region. Many authors believe that two to six distorter genes currently known have an additive effect. A genetic model of the non-Mendelian inheritance in the progeny of heterozygous male mice specifically explains sterility of animals carrying the t-complex with complementary lethal genes. The model suggests that some distorter gene products interacting with the responder gene have a selective effect on motility of both mutant and wild-type sperm. Insufficient sperm motility and/or their unsuccessful capacitation result in poor if any fertilization. Information on the t-complex genes is necessary for understanding the biological mechanisms of male sterility and may be used in medical practice.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004