研究方向三：Meiotic checkpoints and their regulation: DNA damage on fates of spermatocytes and oocytes
To achieve accurate homologus chromosome pairing, synapsis, recombination and segregation, hundreds of programmed DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) must occur and then be repaired during the prophase of meiosis. Failure to repair the DSBs results in meiotic arrest at zygotene or pachytene stage in male and oocyte loss during primordial follicle assembly in female, indicating the presence of different cell cycle checkpoints between the sexes. We try to understand the regulation mechanisms of the checkpoints during spermatogenesis and oogenesis by using gene modified mice.
研究方向四：Identification of genetic mutations causing human male infertility by disrupting meiosis
Meiosis is an essential process of spermatogenesis, anomalies of which may cause spermatogenesis failure and consequently infertility. Hundreds of genes have been reported to cause infertility by disrupting meiosis after mutated in mice. However, only several of them have been detected mutated in infertile human males. No classification and low number of cases, as well as inefficient technology for the detection of mutants in patients are accused for the failure to find mutations causing meiotic abnormalities. We are trying to identify such mutations by genome-wide exon sequencing of thousands of patients with non-obstructive azoospermia classified according to their meiotic abnormalities.