The Male Y Chromosome Does More Than We Thought – Could Explain Why Men Suffer Differently From COVID-19

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Y Chromosome

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New light is being shed on an obscure function of Y chromosome genes, particular to males, that might discuss why males suffer in a different way than ladies from different illness, consisting of Covid-19.

The findings were released this month in Scientific Reports by Université de Montréal teacher Christian Deschepper, director of the Experimental Cardiovascular Biology research study system of the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.

“Our discovery provides a better understanding of how male genes on the Y chromosome allow male cells to function differently from female cells,” stated Deschepper, the research study’s lead author, who is likewise an associate teacher at McGill University.

“In the future, these results could help to shed some light on why some diseases occur differently in men and women.”

Genes that women do not have

Humans each have 23 sets of chromosomes, consisting of one set of sex chromosomes. While women bring 2 X sex chromosomes, males bring one X and one Y chromosome. This male chromosome brings genes that women do not have. Although these male genes are revealed in all cells of the body, their just validated function to date has actually been basically restricted to the functions of the sex organs.

In his research study, Deschepper carried out a hereditary adjustment that suspended 2 male genes on the Y chromosome, changing numerous signalling paths that play crucial functions in specific functions of non-sex organ cells. For example, under tension, a few of the afflicted systems might affect the method which cells in human hearts safeguard themselves versus hostilities such as anemia (minimized blood supply) or mechanical tension.

In addition, the research study revealed that these male genes performed their regulative functions in such a way that was uncommon compared to the systems typically utilized by a lot of other genes on the non-sex chromosomes. Thus, rather of particularly triggering specific genes by direct action at the genome level, the Y chromosome appears to impact cellular functions by acting upon protein production.

The discovery of these distinctions in function might discuss in part why the functions of male Y chromosome genes have actually up until now been badly comprehended, stated Deschepper.

Males vary from women in the symptom, intensity and effects of a lot of illness. A current example of this duality is Covid-19, which has a death rate two times as high in males than in ladies.

Reference: “Regulatory impacts of the Uty/Ddx3y locus on surrounding chromosome Y genes and autosomal mRNA records in adult mouse non-reproductive cells” by Christian F. Deschepper, 10 September 2020, Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-71447-3



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