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Development. 2019 Sep 2;146(17). pii: dev179275. doi: 10.1242/dev.179275.

Combover interacts with the axonemal component Rsp3 and is required for Drosophila sperm individualization.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Yeshiva University, New York, NY 10033, USA jsteinha@yu.edu andreas.jenny@einstein.yu.edu.
2
Department of Biology, Yeshiva University, New York, NY 10033, USA.
3
Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology and Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY 10461, USA.
4
Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology and Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY 10461, USA jsteinha@yu.edu andreas.jenny@einstein.yu.edu.

Abstract

Gamete formation is key to survival of higher organisms. In male animals, spermatogenesis gives rise to interconnected spermatids that differentiate and individualize into mature sperm, each tightly enclosed by a plasma membrane. In Drosophila melanogaster, individualization of sister spermatids requires the formation of specialized actin cones that synchronously move along the sperm tails, removing inter-spermatid bridges and most of the cytoplasm. Here, we show that Combover (Cmb), originally identified as an effector of planar cell polarity (PCP) under control of Rho kinase, is essential for sperm individualization. cmb mutants are male sterile, with actin cones that fail to move in a synchronized manner along the flagella, despite being correctly formed and polarized initially. These defects are germline autonomous, independent of PCP genes, and can be rescued by wild-type Cmb, but not by a version of Cmb in which known Rho kinase phosphorylation sites are mutated. Furthermore, Cmb binds to the axonemal component Radial spoke protein 3, knockdown of which causes similar individualization defects, suggesting that Cmb coordinates the individualization machinery with the microtubular axonemes.

KEYWORDS:

Axoneme; Combover; Individualization; Planar cell polarity; Rho kinase; Spermatogenesis

PMID:
31391193
DOI:
10.1242/dev.179275

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