How circuits self-assemble starting from neuronal stem cells is a fundamental question in developmental neurobiology. Here, we addressed how neurons from different stem cell lineages wire with each other to form a specific circuit motif. In Drosophila larvae, we combined developmental genetics (Twin spot MARCM, Multi-color Flip Out, permanent labeling) with circuit analysis (calcium imaging, connectomics, network science). For many lineages, neuronal progeny are organized into subunits called temporal cohorts. Temporal cohorts are subsets of neurons born within a tight time window that have shared circuit level function. We find sharp transitions in patterns of input connectivity at temporal cohort boundaries. In addition, we identify a feed-forward circuit that encodes the onset of vibration stimuli. This feed-forward circuit is assembled by preferential connectivity between temporal cohorts from different lineages. Connectivity does not follow the often-cited early-to-early, late-to-late model. Instead, the circuit is formed by sequential addition of temporal cohorts from different lineages, with circuit output neurons born before circuit input neurons. Further, we generate new tools for the fly community. Our data raise the possibility that sequential addition of neurons (with outputs oldest and inputs youngest) could be one fundamental strategy for assembling feed-forward circuits.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files (Supplemental Tables 1-6)Source Data files are provided for Figures 3,4,5,6,7,9,10.13.14
- Ellie Heckscher
- Jason MacLean
- Zarion D Marshall
- Julia L Meng
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- P Robin Hiesinger, Institute for Biology Free University Berlin, Germany
© 2022, Wang 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.
Imaging experiments reveal the complex and dynamic nature of the transcriptional hubs associated with Notch signaling.
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.