Long noncoding RNA regulation of spermatogenesis via the spectrin cytoskeleton in Drosophila

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Bouska, Mark J.
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© The Author(s) 2021
Bai, Hua
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Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology seeks to teach subcellular and cellular processes, genome dynamics, cell structure and function, and molecular mechanisms of development, in so doing offering a Major in Biology and a Major in Genetics.

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology was founded in 2005.

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The spectrin cytoskeleton has been shown to be critical in diverse processes such as axon development and degeneration, myoblast fusion, and spermatogenesis. Spectrin can be modulated in a tissue specific manner through junctional protein complexes, however, it has not been shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) interact with and modulate spectrin. Here, we provide evidence of a lncRNA CR45362 that interacts with α-Spectrin, is required for spermatid nuclear bundling during Drosophila spermatogenesis. We observed that CR45362 showed high expression in the cyst cells at the basal testis, and CRISPR-mediated knockout of CR45362 led to sterile male, unbundled spermatid nuclei, and disrupted actin cones. Through chromatin isolation by RNA precipitation—mass spectrometry (ChIRP-MS), we identified actin-spectrin cytoskeletal components physically interact with the lncRNA CR45362. Genetic screening on identified cytoskeletal factors revealed that cyst cell-specific knockdown of α-Spectrin phenocopied CR45362 mutants and resulted in spermatid nuclear bundle defects. Consistently, CR45362 knockout disrupted the co-localization of α-Spectrin and spermatid nuclear bundles in the head cyst cells at the basal testis. Thus, we uncovered a novel lncRNA CR45362 that interacts with α-Spectrin to stabilize spermatid nuclear bundles during spermatid maturation.
This article is published as Bouska, Mark J., and Hua Bai. "Long noncoding RNA regulation of spermatogenesis via the spectrin cytoskeleton in Drosophila." G3 11, no. 5 (2021): jkab080. doi:10.1093/g3journal/jkab080. Posted with permission. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.