salto/CG13164 is required for sperm head morphogenesis in Drosophila

Mol Biol Cell. 2019 Mar 1;30(5):636-645. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E18-07-0429. Epub 2019 Jan 2.


Producing mature spermatozoa is essential for sexual reproduction in metazoans. Spermiogenesis involves dramatic cell morphological changes going from sperm tail elongation and nuclear reshaping to cell membrane remodeling during sperm individualization and release. The sperm manchette plays a critical scaffolding function during nuclear remodeling by linking the nuclear lamina to the cytoskeleton. Here, we describe the role of an uncharacterized protein in Drosophila, salto/CG13164, involved in nuclear shaping and spermatid individualization. Salto has dynamic localization during spermatid differentiation, being progressively relocated from the sperm-nuclear dense body, which is equivalent to the mammalian sperm manchette, to the centriolar adjunct and acrosomal cap during spermiogenesis. salto-null male flies are sterile and exhibit complete spermatid individualization defects. salto-deficient spermatids show coiled spermatid nuclei at late maturation stages and stalled individualization complexes. Our work sheds light on a novel component involved in cytoskeleton-based cell-morphological changes during spermiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Organ Specificity
  • Sperm Head / metabolism*
  • Sperm Head / ultrastructure
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • salto protein, Drosophila
  • Caspase 3