Sensory hair cells in the ear utilize specialized ribbon synapses. These synapses are defined by electron-dense presynaptic structures called ribbons, composed primarily of the structural protein Ribeye. Previous work has shown that voltage-gated influx of Ca2+ through CaV1.3 channels is critical for hair-cell synapse function and can impede ribbon formation. We show that in mature zebrafish hair cells, evoked presynaptic-Ca2+ influx through CaV1.3 channels initiates mitochondrial-Ca2+ (mito-Ca2+) uptake adjacent to ribbons. Block of mito-Ca2+ uptake in mature cells depresses presynaptic Ca2+ influx and impacts synapse integrity. In developing zebrafish hair cells, mito-Ca2+ uptake coincides with spontaneous rises in presynaptic Ca2+ influx. Spontaneous mito-Ca2+ loading lowers cellular NAD+/NADH redox and downregulates ribbon size. Direct application of NAD+ or NADH increases or decreases ribbon size respectively, possibly acting through the NAD(H)-binding domain on Ribeye. Our results present a mechanism where presynaptic- and mito-Ca2+ couple to confer proper presynaptic function and formation.
Source data has been added to supporting files
- Hiu-tung C Wong
- Qiuxiang Zhang
- Alisha J Beirl
- Katie Kindt
- Ronald S Petralia
- Ya-Xian Wang
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All husbandry and experiments were approved by the NIH Animal Care and Use program under protocol #1362-13.
- Tanya T Whitfield, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
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.