Human patients carrying PAPP‐A2 inactivating mutations have low bone mineral density. The underlying mechanisms for this reduced calcification are poorly understood. Using a zebrafish model, we report that Papp-aa regulates bone calcification by promoting Ca2+-transporting epithelial cell (ionocyte) quiescence-proliferation transition. Ionocytes, which are normally quiescent, re-enter the cell cycle under low [Ca2+] stress. Genetic deletion of Papp-aa, but not the closely related Papp-ab, abolished ionocyte proliferation and reduced calcified bone mass. Loss of Papp-aa expression or activity resulted in diminished IGF1 receptor-Akt-Tor signaling in ionocytes. Under low Ca2+ stress, Papp-aa cleaved Igfbp5a. Under normal conditions, however, Papp-aa proteinase activity was suppressed and IGFs were sequestered in the IGF/Igfbp complex. Pharmacological disruption of the IGF/Igfbp complex or adding free IGF1 activated IGF signaling and promoted ionocyte proliferation. These findings suggest that Papp-aa-mediated local Igfbp5a cleavage functions as a [Ca2+]-regulated molecular switch linking IGF signaling to bone calcification by stimulating epithelial cell quiescence-proliferation transition under low Ca2+ stress.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Cunming Duan
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments were conducted in accordance with the guidelines approved by the Institutional Committee on the Use and Care of Animals, University of Michigan and the Danish The Animal Experiments Inspectorate (permit numbers 2017-15-0201-01369 and 2017-15-0202-00098).
- Cheryl Ackert-Bicknell, University of Colorado, United States
© 2020, Liu 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.
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.