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Mech Dev. 2014 Aug;133:64-76. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

A role for Drosophila Cyclin J in oogenesis revealed by genetic interactions with the piRNA pathway.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Electronic address: gatikukke@gmail.com.
2
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Electronic address: palbosta@med.wayne.edu.
3
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Electronic address: heidizhang@yahoo.com.
4
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA; Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Electronic address: rfinley@wayne.edu.

Abstract

Cyclin J (CycJ) is a poorly characterized member of the Cyclin superfamily of cyclin-dependent kinase regulators, many of which regulate the cell cycle or transcription. Although CycJ is conserved in metazoans its cellular function has not been identified and no mutant defects have been described. In Drosophila, CycJ transcript is present primarily in ovaries and very early embryos, suggesting a role in one or both of these tissues. The CycJ gene (CycJ) lies immediately downstream of armitage (armi), a gene involved in the Piwi-associated RNA (piRNA) pathways that are required for silencing transposons in the germline and adjacent somatic cells. Mutations in armi result in oogenesis defects but a role for CycJ in oogenesis has not been defined. Here we assessed oogenesis in CycJ mutants in the presence or absence of mutations in armi or other piRNA pathway genes. CycJ null ovaries appeared normal, indicating that CycJ is not essential for oogenesis under normal conditions. In contrast, armi null ovaries produced only two egg chambers per ovariole and the eggs had severe axis specification defects, as observed previously for armi and other piRNA pathway mutants. Surprisingly, the CycJ armi double mutant failed to produce any mature eggs. The double null ovaries generally had only one egg chamber per ovariole and the egg chambers frequently contained an overabundance of differentiated germline cells. Production of these compound egg chambers could be suppressed with CycJ transgenes but not with mutations in the checkpoint gene mnk, which suppress oogenesis defects in armi mutants. The CycJ null showed similar genetic interactions with the germline and somatic piRNA pathway gene piwi, and to a lesser extent with aubergine (aub), a member of the germline-specific piRNA pathway. The strong genetic interactions between CycJ and piRNA pathway genes reveal a role for CycJ in early oogenesis. Our results suggest that CycJ is required to regulate egg chamber production or maturation when piRNA pathways are compromised.

KEYWORDS:

Cyclin J; Oogenesis; piRNA

PMID:
24946235
PMCID:
PMC4177506
DOI:
10.1016/j.mod.2014.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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