Drosophila melanogaster sperm reach an extraordinary long size, 1.8 mm, by the end of spermatogenesis. The mitochondrial derivatives run along the entire flagellum and provide structural rigidity for flagellar movement, but its precise function and organization is incompletely understood. The two mitochondrial derivatives differentiate and by the end of spermatogenesis the minor one reduces its size and the major one accumulates paracrystalline material inside it. The molecular constituents and precise function of the paracrystalline material have not yet been revealed. Here we purified the paracrystalline material from mature sperm and identified by mass spectrometry Sperm-Leucylaminopeptidase (S-Lap) family members as important constituents of it. To study the function of S-Lap proteins we show the characterization of classical mutants and RNAi lines affecting of the S-Lap genes and the analysis of their mutant phenotypes. We show that the male sterile phenotype of the S-Lap mutants is caused by defects in paracrystalline material accumulation and abnormal structure of the elongated major mitochondrial derivatives. Our work shows that S-Lap proteins localize and accumulate in the paracrystalline material of the major mitochondrial derivative. Therefore, we propose that S-Lap proteins are important constituents of the paracrystalline material of Drosophila melanogaster sperm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research