Inflammatory liver diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide; however, underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here we show that deleting the focal adhesion protein Kindlin-2 expression in hepatocytes using the Alb-Cre transgenic mice causes a severe inflammation, resulting in premature death. Kindlin-2 loss accelerates hepatocyte apoptosis with subsequent compensatory cell proliferation and accumulation of the collagenous extracellular matrix, leading to massive liver fibrosis and dysfunction. Mechanistically, Kindlin-2 loss abnormally activates the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) pathway. Blocking activation of the TNF signaling pathway by deleting TNF receptor or deletion of Caspase 8 expression in hepatocytes essentially restores liver function and prevents premature death caused by Kindlin-2 loss. Finally, of translational significance, adeno-associated virus mediated overexpression of Kindlin-2 in hepatocytes attenuates the D-galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide-induced liver injury and death in mice. Collectively, we establish that Kindlin-2 acts as a novel intrinsic inhibitor of the TNF pathway to maintain liver homeostasis and may define a useful therapeutic target for liver diseases.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file; Source Data files have been provided for Figures 1-7 and supplementary figures.
- Guozhi Xiao
- Guozhi Xiao
- Huanqing Gao
- Guozhi Xiao
- Guozhi Xiao
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 approved and conducted in the specific pathogen free (SPF) Experimental Animal Center of Southern University of Science and Technology (Approval number: 20200074).
- Pramod Mistry, Yale School of Medicine, United States
© 2023, Gao 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.