Matrix remodeling is a salient feature of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Targeting cells driving matrix remodeling could be a promising avenue for IPF treatment. Analysis of transcriptomic database identified the mesenchymal transcription factor PRRX1 as upregulated in IPF. PRRX1, strongly expressed by lung fibroblasts, was regulated by a TGF-b/PGE2 balance in vitro in control and IPF human lung fibroblasts, while IPF fibroblast-derived matrix increased PRRX1 expression in a PDGFR dependent manner in control ones. PRRX1 inhibition decreased human lung fibroblast proliferation by downregulating the expression of S phase cyclins. PRRX1 inhibition also impacted TGF-β driven myofibroblastic differentiation by inhibiting SMAD2/3 phosphorylation through phosphatase PPM1A upregulation and TGFBR2 downregulation, leading to TGF-β response global decrease. Finally, targeted inhibition of Prrx1 attenuated fibrotic remodeling in vivo with intra-tracheal antisense oligonucleotides in bleomycin mouse model of lung fibrosis and ex vivo using human and mouse precision-cut lung slices. Our results identified PRRX1 as a key mesenchymal transcription factor during lung fibrogenesis.
For gene expression profiling, publicly available datasets were obtained from NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (GSE2052, GSE24206 and GSE21411) , IPF Cell Atlas (www.ipfcellatlas.com) or FibroXplorer (www.fibroXplorer.com). Newly generated expression dataset has been deposited in the Gene Expression Omnibus GSE161364. All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
Impact of PRRX1 knockdown on the transcriptome of normal human lung fibroblasts (NHLF) in the presence or the absence of TGF-βNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE161364.
IPF versus ControlNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE2052.
Validated Gene Expression Signatures of Idiopathic Pulmonary FibrosisNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE24206.
Systems biology of interstitial lung diseasesNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE21411.
- Arnaud A Mailleux
- Antoine Froidure
- Méline Homps-Legrand
- Aurélien Justet
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal experiments were conducted in accordance with the Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and approved by the local Animal ethics committee ("Comité d'éthique Paris Nord 121", APAFiS #4778 Etudedufacteurdetran_2016031617411315).
Human subjects: The study on human material was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the local ethics committee (CPP Ile de France 1, No.0811760). Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects.
- Melanie Königshoff, University of Pittsburgh, United States
© 2023, Marchal-Duval 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.