The distribution of complementary metabolic functions in hepatocytes along a portocentral axis is called liver zonation. Endothelial secreted Wnt ligands maintain metabolic zonation in the adult murine liver but whether those ligands are necessary to initiate zonation in the immature liver has been only partially explored. Also, numerous non-metabolic proteins display zonated expression in the adult liver but it is not entirely clear if their localization requires endothelial Wnts. Here we used a novel transgenic mouse model to compare the spatial distribution of zonated non-metabolic proteins with that of typical zonated metabolic enzymes during liver maturation and after acute injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). We also investigated how preventing Wnt ligand secretion from endothelial cells affects zonation patterns under homeostasis and after acute injury. Our study demonstrates that metabolic and non-metabolic zonation are established non-synchronously during maturation and regeneration and require multiple endothelial Wnt sources.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1 - 7.
- Beatriz Sosa-Pineda
- Angelica Sofia Martínez-Ramírez
Feinberg School of Medicine funded all the experiments associated with the study.CONACYT awarded a fellowship to Dr. Martinez-RamirezThe funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (IS00003824, welfare assurance number A3283-01) of Northwestern University.
- Holger Willenbring
© 2020, Ma 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.