Duplicating chromosomes once each cell cycle produces sister chromatid pairs, which separate accurately at anaphase. In contrast, reduplicating chromosomes without separation frequently produces polytene chromosomes, a barrier to accurate mitosis. Chromosome reduplication occurs in many contexts, including: polytene tissue development, polytene tumors, and following treatment with mitosis-blocking chemotherapeutics. However, mechanisms responding to or resolving polyteny during mitosis are poorly understood. Here, using Drosophila, we uncover two distinct reduplicated chromosome responses. First, when reduplicated polytene chromosomes persist into metaphase, an anaphase delay prevents tissue malformation and apoptosis. Second, reduplicated polytene chromosomes can also separate prior to metaphase through a spindle-independent mechanism termed Separation-Into-Recent-Sisters (SIRS). Both reduplication responses require the spindle assembly checkpoint protein Mad2. While Mad2 delays anaphase separation of metaphase polytene chromosomes, Mad2's control of overall mitotic timing ensures efficient SIRS. Our results pinpoint mechanisms enabling continued proliferation after genome reduplication, a finding with implications for cancer progression and prevention.
- Yukiko M Yamashita, University of Michigan, United States
© 2016, Stormo & Fox
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Cylicins are testis-specific proteins, which are exclusively expressed during spermiogenesis. In mice and humans, two Cylicins, the gonosomal X-linked Cylicin 1 (Cylc1/CYLC1) and the autosomal Cylicin 2 (Cylc2/CYLC2) genes, have been identified. Cylicins are cytoskeletal proteins with an overall positive charge due to lysine-rich repeats. While Cylicins have been localized in the acrosomal region of round spermatids, they resemble a major component of the calyx within the perinuclear theca at the posterior part of mature sperm nuclei. However, the role of Cylicins during spermiogenesis has not yet been investigated. Here, we applied CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in zygotes to establish Cylc1- and Cylc2-deficient mouse lines as a model to study the function of these proteins. Cylc1 deficiency resulted in male subfertility, whereas Cylc2-/-, Cylc1-/yCylc2+/-, and Cylc1-/yCylc2-/- males were infertile. Phenotypical characterization revealed that loss of Cylicins prevents proper calyx assembly during spermiogenesis. This results in decreased epididymal sperm counts, impaired shedding of excess cytoplasm, and severe structural malformations, ultimately resulting in impaired sperm motility. Furthermore, exome sequencing identified an infertile man with a hemizygous variant in CYLC1 and a heterozygous variant in CYLC2, displaying morphological abnormalities of the sperm including the absence of the acrosome. Thus, our study highlights the relevance and importance of Cylicins for spermiogenic remodeling and male fertility in human and mouse, and provides the basis for further studies on unraveling the complex molecular interactions between perinuclear theca proteins required during spermiogenesis.
During evolution, animals have returned from land to water, adapting with morphological modifications to life in an aquatic environment. We compared the osteochondral units of the humeral head of marine and terrestrial mammals across species spanning a wide range of body weights, focusing on microstructural organization and biomechanical performance. Aquatic mammals feature cartilage with essentially random collagen fiber configuration, lacking the depth-dependent, arcade-like organization characteristic of terrestrial mammalian species. They have a less stiff articular cartilage at equilibrium with a significantly lower peak modulus, and at the osteochondral interface do not have a calcified cartilage layer, displaying only a thin, highly porous subchondral bone plate. This totally different constitution of the osteochondral unit in aquatic mammals reflects that accommodation of loading is the primordial function of the osteochondral unit. Recognizing the crucial importance of the microarchitecture-function relationship is pivotal for understanding articular biology and, hence, for the development of durable functional regenerative approaches for treatment of joint damage, which are thus far lacking.