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Yuan, X., Zheng, H., Su, Y., Guo, P., Zhang, X., Zhao, Q., Ge, W., Li, C., Xi, Y., Yang, X. (2019). Drosophila Pif1A is essential for spermatogenesis and is the homolog of human CCDC157, a gene associated with idiopathic NOA.  Cell Death Dis. 10(2): 125.
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Research paper

The dynamic process of spermatogenesis shows little variation between invertebrate models such as Drosophila, and vertebrate models such as mice and rats. In each case, germ stem cells undergo mitotic division to proliferate and then continue, via meiosis, through various stages of elongation and individualization from spermatogonia to spermatid to finally to form mature sperm. Mature sperm are then stored in the seminal vesicles for fertilization. Errors in any of these stages can lead to male infertility. Here, we identify that Drosophila Pif1A acts as a key regulator for sperm individualization. Loss of Pif1A leads to male sterility associated with irregular individualization complex and empty seminal vesicles without mature sperm. Pif1A is highly expressed in the testes of mated male adult flies and the Pif1A protein is expressed at a higher level in male than in female flies. Pif1A is homologous to mammalian coiled-coil domain-containing protein 157 (CCDC157), which is also enriched in the testes of humans and mice. Human CCDC157, with unknown function, was identified to be downregulated in men with idiopathic non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA). We map the function of Drosophila Pif1A during spermatogenesis, showing that Pif1A is essential for spermatide individualization and involved in the regulation of the lipid metabolism genes. Our findings might be applicable for studying the function of CCDC157 in spermatogenesis and other aspects of human male fertility.

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PMC6370830 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Cell Death Dis.
    Cell death & disease
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