The MRTF-SRF pathway has been extensively studied for its crucial role in driving the expression of a large number of genes involved in actin cytoskeleton of various cell types. However, the specific contribution of MRTF-SRF in hair cells remains unknown. In this study, we showed that hair cell-specific deletion of Srf or Mrtfb, but not Mrtfa, leads to similar defects in the development of stereocilia dimensions and the maintenance of cuticular plate integrity. We used FACS-based hair cell RNA-seq analysis to investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of the changes observed in Srf and Mrtfb mutants, respectively. Interestingly, the transcriptome analysis revealed distinct profiles of genes regulated by Srf and Mrtfb, suggesting different transcriptional regulation mechanisms of actin cytoskeleton activities mediated by Srf and Mrtfb. Exogenous delivery of calponin 2 using Adeno-associated virus transduction in Srf mutants partially rescued the impairments of stereocilia dimensions and the F-actin intensity of cuticular plate, suggesting the involvement of Cnn2, as an Srf downstream target, in regulating the hair bundle morphology and cuticular plate actin cytoskeleton organization. Our study uncovers, for the first time, the unexpected differential transcriptional regulation of actin cytoskeleton mediated by Srf and Mrtfb in hair cells, and also demonstrates the critical role of SRF-CNN2 in modulating actin dynamics of the stereocilia and cuticular plate, providing new insights into the molecular mechanism underlying hair cell development and maintenance.
Sequencing data have been deposited in GSA under accession code CRA010747.All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file.
Differential regulation of hair cell actin cytoskeleton mediated by SRF and MRTFBNational Genomics Data Center, CRA010747.
- Ting-Ting Du
- Ting-Ting Du
- Hao Wu
- Hao Wu
- Hao Wu
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine Affiliated Ninth People's Hospital (Shanghai, China) (SH9H-2020-A682-1) All animal maintenance and experimental procedures were performed by the recommendations in the Guide for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
- Pascal Martin, Institut Curie, France
- Received: June 13, 2023
- Accepted: November 17, 2023
- Accepted Manuscript published: November 20, 2023 (version 1)
© 2023, Zhou 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.