Open Close
Reference
Citation
Zhu, L., Fukunaga, R. (2021). RNA-binding protein Maca is crucial for gigantic male fertility factor gene expression, spermatogenesis, and male fertility, in Drosophila.  PLoS Genet. 17(6): e1009655.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0249395
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

During spermatogenesis, the process in which sperm for fertilization are produced from germline cells, gene expression is spatiotemporally highly regulated. In Drosophila, successful expression of extremely large male fertility factor genes on Y-chromosome spanning some megabases due to their gigantic intron sizes is crucial for spermatogenesis. Expression of such extremely large genes must be challenging, but the molecular mechanism that allows it remains unknown. Here we report that a novel RNA-binding protein Maca, which contains two RNA-recognition motifs, is crucial for this process. maca null mutant male flies exhibited a failure in the spermatid individualization process during spermatogenesis, lacked mature sperm, and were completely sterile, while maca mutant female flies were fully fertile. Proteomics and transcriptome analyses revealed that both protein and mRNA abundance of the gigantic male fertility factor genes kl-2, kl-3, and kl-5 (kl genes) are significantly decreased, where the decreases of kl-2 are particularly dramatic, in maca mutant testes. Splicing of the kl-3 transcripts was also dysregulated in maca mutant testes. All these physiological and molecular phenotypes were rescued by a maca transgene in the maca mutant background. Furthermore, we found that in the control genetic background, Maca is exclusively expressed in spermatocytes in testes and enriched at Y-loop A/C in the nucleus, where the kl-5 primary transcripts are localized. Our data suggest that Maca increases transcription processivity, promotes successful splicing of gigantic introns, and/or protects transcripts from premature degradation, of the kl genes. Our study identified a novel RNA-binding protein Maca that is crucial for successful expression of the gigantic male fertility factor genes, spermatogenesis, and male fertility.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC8248703 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
Associated Information
Comments
Associated Files
Other Information
Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    PLoS Genet.
    Title
    PLoS Genetics
    Publication Year
    2005-
    ISBN/ISSN
    1553-7404 1553-7390
    Data From Reference
    Aberrations (1)
    Alleles (9)
    Genes (7)
    Cell Lines (1)
    Natural transposons (1)
    Insertions (1)
    Experimental Tools (1)
    Transgenic Constructs (6)