Pelota-interacting G protein Hbs1 is required for spermatogenesis in Drosophila

Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 1;9(1):3226. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39530-6.


Hbs1, which is homologous to the GTPase eRF3, is a small G protein implicated in mRNA quality control. It interacts with a translation-release factor 1-like protein Dom34/Pelota to direct decay of mRNAs with ribosomal stalls. Although both proteins are evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes, the biological function of Hbs1 in multicellular organisms is yet to be characterized. In Drosophila, pelota is essential for the progression through meiosis during spermatogenesis and germline stem cell maintenance. Here we show that homozygous Hbs1 mutant flies are viable, female-fertile, but male-sterile, which is due to defects in meiosis and spermatid individualization, phenotypes that are also observed in pelota hypomorphic mutants. In contrast, Hbs1 mutants have no obvious defects in germline stem cell maintenance. We show that Hbs1 genetically interacts with pelota during spermatid individualization. Furthermore, Pelota with a point mutation on the putative Hbs1-binding site cannot substitute the wild type protein for normal spermatogenesis. These data suggest that Pelota forms a complex with Hbs1 to regulate multiple processes during spermatogenesis. Our results reveal a specific requirement of Hbs1 in male gametogenesis in Drosophila and indicate an essential role for the RNA surveillance complex Pelota-Hbs1 in spermatogenesis, a function that could be conserved in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Infertility, Male / genetics
  • Male
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Peptide Elongation Factors / genetics*
  • Peptide Elongation Factors / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spermatids / metabolism
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • HBS1 protein, Drosophila
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Peptide Elongation Factors
  • pelo protein, Drosophila
  • GTP-Binding Proteins