A novel predicted bromodomain-related protein affects coordination between meiosis and spermiogenesis in Drosophila and is required for male meiotic cytokinesis.

Bergner LM, Hickman FE, Wood KH, Wakeman CM, Stone HH, Campbell TJ, Lightcap SB, Favors SM, Aldridge AC, Hales KG
DNA Cell Biol. 2010 29 (9): 487-98

PMID: 20491580 · PMCID: PMC2931543 · DOI:10.1089/dna.2009.0989

Temporal coordination of meiosis with spermatid morphogenesis is crucial for successful generation of mature sperm cells. We identified a recessive male sterile Drosophila melanogaster mutant, mitoshell, in which events of spermatid morphogenesis are initiated too early, before meiotic onset. Premature mitochondrial aggregation and fusion lead to an aberrant mitochondrial shell around premeiotic nuclei. Despite successful meiotic karyokinesis, improper mitochondrial localization in mitoshell testes is associated with defective astral central spindles and a lack of contractile rings, leading to meiotic cytokinesis failure. We mapped and cloned the mitoshell gene and found that it encodes a novel protein with a bromodomain-related region. It is conserved in some insect lineages. Bromodomains typically bind to histone acetyl-lysine residues and therefore are often associated with chromatin. The Mitoshell bromodomain-related region is predicted to have an alpha helical structure similar to that of bromodomains, but not all the crucial residues in the ligand-binding loops are conserved. We speculate that Mitoshell may participate in transcriptional regulation of spermatogenesis-specific genes, though perhaps with different ligand specificity compared to traditional bromodomains.

MeSH Terms (20)

Amino Acid Sequence Animals Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone Cloning, Molecular Conserved Sequence Cytokinesis Drosophila melanogaster Drosophila Proteins Female Genes, Insect Infertility, Male Insect Proteins Male Meiosis Mitochondria Molecular Sequence Data Mutation Protein Structure, Tertiary Spermatogenesis Testis

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