The NR5A-family nuclear receptors are highly conserved and function within the somatic follicle cells of the ovary to regulate folliculogenesis and ovulation in mammals; however, their roles in Drosophila ovaries are largely unknown. Here, we discover that Ftz-f1, one of the NR5A nuclear receptors in Drosophila, is transiently induced in follicle cells in late stages of oogenesis via ecdysteroid signaling. Genetic disruption of Ftz-f1 expression prevents follicle cell differentiation into the final maturation stage, which leads to anovulation. In addition, we demonstrate that the bHLH/PAS transcription factor Single-minded (Sim) acts as a direct target of Ftz-f1 to promote follicle cell differentiation/maturation and that Ftz-f1's role in regulating Sim expression and follicle cell differentiation can be replaced by its mouse homolog steroidogenic factor 1 (mSF-1). Our work provides new insight into the regulation of follicle maturation in Drosophila and the conserved role of NR5A nuclear receptors in regulating folliculogenesis and ovulation.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. sequencing data have been deposited in SRA under BioProject ID PRJNA624186.
Direct targets of Ftz-f1 in Drosophila follicle cellsNCBI Sequence Read Archive, PRJNA624186.
- Jianjun Sun
- Jianjun Sun
- Jianjun Sun
- Jianjun Sun
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Michael Buszczak, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States
© 2020, Knapp 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.