The Wnt-pathway is part of a signalling network that regulates many aspects of cell biology. Recently we discovered crosstalk between AMPA/Kainate-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) and the Wnt-pathway during the initial Wnt3a-interaction at the cytonemes of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Here, we demonstrate that this crosstalk persists throughout the Wnt3a-response in ESCs. Both AMPA- and Kainate-receptors regulate early Wnt3a-recruitment, dynamics on the cell membrane, and orientation of the spindle towards a Wnt3a-source at mitosis. AMPA-receptors specifically are required for segregating cell fate components during Wnt3a-mediated asymmetric cell division (ACD). Using Wnt-pathway component knockout lines, we determine that Wnt co-receptor Lrp6 has particular functionality over Lrp5 in cytoneme formation, and in facilitating ACD. Both Lrp5 and 6, alongside pathway effector β-catenin act in concert to mediate the positioning of the dynamic interaction with, and spindle orientation to, a localized Wnt3a-source. Wnt-iGluR crosstalk may prove pervasive throughout embryonic and adult stem cell signalling.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Shukry J Habib
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Beate Maria Lichtenberger, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
© 2021, Junyent 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.
Previously we showed that 2D template matching (2DTM) can be used to localize macromolecular complexes in images recorded by cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) with high precision, even in the presence of noise and cellular background (Lucas et al., 2021; Lucas et al., 2022). Here, we show that once localized, these particles may be averaged together to generate high-resolution 3D reconstructions. However, regions included in the template may suffer from template bias, leading to inflated resolution estimates and making the interpretation of high-resolution features unreliable. We evaluate conditions that minimize template bias while retaining the benefits of high-precision localization, and we show that molecular features not present in the template can be reconstructed at high resolution from targets found by 2DTM, extending prior work at low-resolution. Moreover, we present a quantitative metric for template bias to aid the interpretation of 3D reconstructions calculated with particles localized using high-resolution templates and fine angular sampling.