During morphogenesis, epithelial sheets remodel into complex geometries. How cells dynamically organize their contact with neighbouring cells in these tightly packed tissues is poorly understood. We have used light-sheet microscopy of growing mouse embryonic lung explants, three-dimensional cell segmentation, and physical theory to unravel the principles behind 3D cell organization in growing pseudostratified epithelia. We find that cells have highly irregular 3D shapes and exhibit numerous neighbour intercalations along the apical-basal axis as well as over time. Despite the fluidic nature, the cell packing configurations follow fundamental relationships previously described for apical epithelial layers, i.e., Euler's formula, Lewis' law, and Aboav-Weaire's law, at all times and across the entire tissue thickness. This arrangement minimizes the lateral cell-cell surface energy for a given cross-sectional area variability, generated primarily by the distribution and movement of nuclei. We conclude that the complex 3D cell organization in growing epithelia emerges from simple physical principles.
The source code and plotted data files are available as a git repository at https://git.bsse.ethz.ch/iber/Publications/2021_gomez_3d_cell_neighbour_dynamics.git. The raw data is publicly available as openBIS repository at https://openbis-data-repo.ethz.ch/openbis/webapp/eln-lims/?user=observer&pass=openbis under the Name 3D Epithelium.
3D EpitheliumopenBIS, 3D Epithelium.
- Dagmar Iber
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Permission to use animals was obtained from the veterinary office of the Canton Basel-Stadt (licensenumber 2777/26711). Experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and approved by the Ethics Committee for Animal Care of ETH Zurich.
- Anna Akhmanova, Utrecht University, Netherlands
© 2021, Gomez 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.