The role of Drosophila hyperplastic discs gene in spermatogenesis



In Drosophila, the ubiquitin ligase Hyd (hyperplastic disc) is required for regulation of cell proliferation during development [Martin et al. (1977) Dev Biol 55, 213–232; Mansfield et al. (1994) Dev Biol 165, 507–526]. Earlier, we demonstrated that the Drosophila tumour suppressor Merlin participates not only in imaginal discs proliferation control, but also performs a separate Nebenkern structural function in Drosophila spermatogenesis [Dorogova et al. (2008) BMC Cell Biol 9, 1. Here, we show that the hyd mutants also have spermatogenesis defects: chromosome condensation and attachment to the spindle, centrosome behaviour and cytokinesis in meiosis. The process of spermatid elongation was also greatly affected: nuclei were scattered along the cyst and had an abnormal shape, Nebenkern–axoneme angular relation and attachment was distorted, axonemes themselves lost correct structure. Since Hyd and pAbp protein families share a common PABC [poly(A)-binding protein C-terminal] protein domain, we also studied spermatogenesis in pAbp homozygotes and found defects in cytokinesis and spermatid elongation. However, our study of hyd and pAbp genetic interaction revealed only the phenotype of defective nuclei shape at the final stage of spermatid differentiation. So, the PABC domain is unlikely to be responsible for meiotic defects. Thus, our data document that, in addition to the tumour suppressor Merlin, another tumour suppressor, Hyd, also has a function in spermatogenesis.