Sjögren's Syndrome Nuclear Autoantigen 1 (SSNA1/NA14) is a microtubule-associated protein with important functions in cilia, dividing cells and developing neurons. However, the direct effects of SSNA1 on microtubules are not known. We employed in vitro reconstitution with purified proteins and TIRF microscopy to investigate the activity of human SSNA1 on dynamic microtubule ends and lattices. Our results show that SSNA1 modulates all parameters of microtubule dynamic instability - slowing down the rates of growth, shrinkage and catastrophe, and promoting rescue. We find that SSNA1 forms stretches along growing microtubule ends and binds cooperatively to the microtubule lattice. Furthermore, SSNA1 is enriched on microtubule damage sites, occurring both naturally, as well as induced by the microtubule severing enzyme spastin. Finally, SSNA1 binding protects microtubules against spastin's severing activity. Taken together, our results demonstrate that SSNA1 is both a potent microtubule stabilizing protein and a novel sensor of microtubule damage; activities that likely underlie SSNA1's functions on microtubule structures in cells.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Elizabeth J Lawrence
- Marija Zanic
- Marija Zanic
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Kassandra M Ori-McKenney, University of California, United States
© 2021, Lawrence 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.