The role of Pnut and its functional domains in Drosophila spermatogenesis

Academic Article


  • The Drosophila Pnut protein belongs to the family of septins, which are conserved GTPases participating in cytokinesis and many more other fundamental cellular processes. Because of their filamentous appearance, membrane association, and functions, septins are considered as the fourth component of the cytoskeleton, along with actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments. However, septins are much less studied than the other cytoskeleton elements. We had previously demonstrated that the deletion of the pnut gene leads to mitotic abnormalities in somatic cells. The goal of this work was to study the role of the pnut in Drosophila spermatogenesis. We designed a construct for pnut RNA interference allowing pnut expression to be suppressed ectopically. We analyzed the effect of pnut RNA interference on Drosophila spermatogenesis. Germline cells at the earliest stages of spermatogenesis were the most sensitive to Pnut depletion: the suppression of the pnut expression at these stages leads to male sterility as a result of immotile sperm. The testes of these sterile males did not show any significant meiotic defects; the axonemes and mitochondria were normal. We also analyzed the effect of mutations in the Pnut’s conservative domains on Drosophila spermatogenesis. Mutations in the GTPase domain resulted in cyst elongation defects. Deletions of the C-terminal domain led to abnormal testis morphology. Both the GTPase domain and C-terminal domain mutant males were sterile and produced immotile sperm. To summarize, we showed that Pnut participates in spermiogenesis, that is, the late stages of spermatogenesis, when major morphological changes in spermatocytes occur.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 17344392
  • Author List

  • Akhmetova KA; Dorogova NV; Bolobolova EU; Chesnokov IN; Fedorova SA
  • Start Page

  • 29
  • End Page

  • 35
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 1