Inducing regeneration in injured spinal cord represents one of modern medicine's greatest challenges. Research from a variety of model organisms indicates that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling may be a useful target to drive regeneration. However, the mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling-mediated tissue regeneration remain unclear. Here we examined Hh signaling during post-amputation tail regeneration in Xenopus laevis larvae. We found that while Smoothened (Smo) activity is essential for proper spinal cord and skeletal muscle regeneration, transcriptional activity of the canonical Hh effector Gli is repressed immediately following amputation, and inhibition of Gli1/2 expression or transcriptional activity has minimal effects on regeneration. In contrast, we demonstrate that protein kinase A (PKA) is necessary for regeneration of both muscle and spinal cord, in concert with and independent of Smo respectively, and that its downstream effector CREB is activated in spinal cord following amputation in a Smo-dependent manner. Our findings indicate that non-canonical mechanisms of Hh signaling are necessary for spinal cord and muscle regeneration.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Laura N Borodinsky
- Laura N Borodinsky
- Laura N Borodinsky
- Andrew M Hamilton
The 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 (#20537) of the University of California Davis. This institution is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC). This institution has an Animal Welfare Assurance on file with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). The Assurance Number is A3433-01. All procedures were performed under tricaine anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Paola Bovolenta, CSIC-UAM, Spain
© 2021, Hamilton 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.