Active zones consist of protein scaffolds that are tightly attached to the presynaptic plasma membrane. They dock and prime synaptic vesicles, couple them to voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, and direct neurotransmitter release towards postsynaptic receptor domains. Simultaneous RIM+ELKS ablation disrupts these scaffolds, abolishes vesicle docking and removes active zone-targeted Munc13, but some vesicles remain releasable. To assess whether this enduring vesicular fusogenicity is mediated by non-active zone-anchored Munc13 or is Munc13-independent, we ablated Munc13-1 and Munc13-2 in addition to RIM+ELKS in mouse hippocampal neurons. The hextuple knockout synapses lacked docked vesicles, but other ultrastructural features were near-normal despite the strong genetic manipulation. Removing Munc13 in addition to RIM+ELKS impaired action potential-evoked vesicle fusion more strongly than RIM+ELKS knockout by further decreasing the releasable vesicle pool. Hence, Munc13 can support some fusogenicity without RIM and ELKS, and presynaptic recruitment of Munc13, even without active zone-anchoring, suffices to generate some fusion-competent vesicles.
All data generated or analyzed in this study, including individual data points, are included in the figures. Source data files for Fig. 1 - figure supplement 3, Fig. 2 - figure supplement 1 and Fig. 2 - figure supplement 2 are provided, and a source data table that contains all means, errors, statistical tests and p-values is also included.
- Pascal S Kaeser
- Pascal S Kaeser
- Pascal S Kaeser
- Cordelia Imig
- Nils Brose
- Nils Brose
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 animal experiments were approved by the Harvard University Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol number IS00000049).
- Axel T Brunger, Stanford University School of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States
© 2022, Tan 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.