Pathways modulating glucose homeostasis independently of insulin would open new avenues to combat insulin resistance and diabetes. Here, we report the establishment, characterization and use of a vertebrate 'insulin-free' model to identify insulin-independent modulators of glucose metabolism. insulin knockout zebrafish recapitulate core characteristics of diabetes and survive only up to larval stages. Utilizing a highly efficient endoderm transplant technique, we generated viable chimeric adults that provide the large numbers of insulin mutant larvae required for our screening platform. Using glucose as a disease-relevant readout, we screened 2233 molecules and identified 3 that consistently reduced glucose levels in insulin mutants. Most significantly, we uncovered an insulin-independent beneficial role for androgen receptor antagonism in hyperglycemia, mostly by reducing fasting glucose levels. Our study proposes therapeutic roles for androgen signaling in diabetes and, more broadly, offers a novel in vivo model for rapid screening and decoupling of insulin-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Microarray and RNA-Seq data have been deposited in the ArrayExpress database at EMBL-EBI (www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress) under accession number E-MTAB-7282 and E-MTAB-7283 respectively.
Microarray analysis comparing zebrafish insulin mutants to non-mutantsArrayExpress, E-MTAB-7282.
Effects of anti-androgenic compounds on zebrafish insulin mutantsArrayExpress, E-MTAB-7283.
- Sri Teja Mullapudi
- Christian SM Helker
- Giulia LM Boezio
- Hans-Martin Maischein
- Anna M Sokol
- Stefan Guenther
- Hiroki Matsuda
- Johannes Graumann
- Yu Hsuan Carol Yang
- Didier YR Stainier
- Anna M Sokol
- Johannes Graumann
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Zebrafish husbandry was performed under standard conditions in accordance with institutional (MPG) and national ethical and animal welfare guidelines approved by the ethics committee for animal experiments at the Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt, Germany (permit numbers B2/1017, B2/1041, B2/1089, B2/1138 and B2/Anz. 1007).
- Richard M White, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, United States
© 2018, Mullapudi et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Imaging experiments reveal the complex and dynamic nature of the transcriptional hubs associated with Notch signaling.
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.