||Yoshitaka Nagahama, Tapas Chakraborty, Bindhu Paul-Prasanth, Kohei Ohta, and Masaru Nakamura, Sex determination, gonadal sex differentiation, and plasticity in vertebrate species, Physiological review, 2021.06, A diverse array of sex determination (SD) mechanisms, encompassing environmental to genetic, have been found to exist among vertebrates, covering a spectrum from fixed SD mechanisms (mammals) to functional sex change in fishes (sequential hermaphroditic fishes). A major landmark in vertebrate SD was the discovery of the SRY gene in 1990. Since that time, many attempts to clone an SRY ortholog from nonmammalian vertebrates remained unsuccessful, until 2002, when DMY/dmrt1by was discovered as the SD gene of a small fish, medaka. Surprisingly, however, DMY/dmrt1by was found in only 2 species among more than 20 species of medaka, suggesting a large diversity of SD genes among vertebrates. Considerable progress has been made over the last 3 decades, such that it is now possible to formulate reasonable paradigms of how SD and gonadal sex differentiation may work in some model vertebrate species. This review outlines our current understanding of vertebrate SD and gonadal sex differentiation, with a focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved. An impressive number of genes and factors have been discovered that play important roles in testicular and ovarian differentiation. An antagonism between the male and female pathway genes exists in gonads during both sex differentiation and, surprisingly, even as adults, suggesting that, in addition to sex-changing fishes, gonochoristic vertebrates including mice maintain some degree of gonadal sexual plasticity into adulthood. Importantly, a review of various SD mechanisms among vertebrates suggests that this is the ideal biological event that can make us understand the evolutionary conundrums underlying speciation and species diversity..
||Sipra Mohapatra, Tapas Chakraborty, Sonoko Shimizu, Kayoko Ohta, Yoshitaka Nagahama, Kohei Ohta , Estrogen and estrogen receptors chauffeur the sex-biased autophagic action in liver, Cell death and Differentiation, 10.1038/s41418-020-0567-3, 10.1038/s41418-020-0567-3, 2020.06, Autophagy, or cellular self-digestion, is an essential cellular process imperative for energy homeostasis, development, differentiation, and survival. However, the intrinsic factors that bring about the sex-biased differences in liver autophagy are still unknown. In this work, we found that autophagic genes variably expresses in the steroidogenic tissues, mostly abundant in liver, and is influenced by the individual’s sexuality. Starvation-induced autophagy in a time-dependent female-dominated manner, and upon starvation, a strong gender responsive circulating steroid-HK2 relation was observed, which highlighted the importance of estrogen in autophagy regulation. This was further confirmed by the enhanced or suppressed autophagy upon estrogen addition (male) or blockage (female), respectively. In addition, we found that estrogen proved to be the common denominator between stress management, glucose metabolism, and autophagic action in female fish. To understand further, we used estrogen receptor (ER)α- and ER-β2-knockout (KO) medaka and found ER-specific differences in sex-biased autophagy. Interestingly, starvation resulted in significantly elevated mTOR transcription (compared with control) in male ERα-KO fish while HK2 and ULK activation was greatly decreased in both KO fish in a female oriented fashion. Later, ChIP analysis confirmed that, NRF2, an upstream regulator of mTOR, only binds to ERα, while both ERα and ERβ2 are effectively pulled down the HK2 and LC3. FIHC data show that, in both ER-KO fish, LC3 nuclear-cytoplasmic transport and its associated pathways involving SIRT1 and DOR were greatly affected. Cumulatively, our data suggest that, ERα-KO strongly affected the early autophagic initiation and altered the LC3 nuclear-cytoplasmic translocation, thereby influencing the sex-biased final autophagosome formation in medaka. Thus, existence of steroid responsive autophagy regulatory-switches and sex-biased steroid/steroid receptor availability influences the gender-skewed autophagy. Expectedly, this study may furnish newer appreciation for gender-specific medicine research and therapeutics..
||Tapas Chakraborty, Lin Yan Zhou, Aparna Chaudhari, Taisen Iguchi, Y. Nagahama, Dmy initiates masculinity by altering Gsdf/Sox9a2/Rspo1 expression in medaka (Oryzias latipes), Scientific reports, 10.1038/srep19480, 6, 2016.01, Despite identification of several sex-determining genes in non-mammalian vertebrates, their detailed molecular cascades of sex determination/differentiation are not known. Here, we used a novel RNAi to characterise the molecular mechanism of Dmy (the sex-determining gene of medaka)-mediated masculinity in XY fish. Dmy knockdown (Dmy-KD) suppressed male pathway (Gsdf, Sox9a2, etc.) and favoured female cascade (Rspo1, etc.) in embryonic XY gonads, resulting in a fertile male-to-female sex-reversal. Gsdf, Sox9a2, and Rspo1 directly interacted with Dmy, and co-injection of Gsdf and Sox9a2 re-established masculinity in XY-Dmy-KD transgenics, insinuating that Dmy initiates masculinity by stimulating and suppressing Gsdf/Sox9a2 and Rspo1 expression, respectively. Gonadal expression of Wt1a starts prior to Dmy and didn't change upon Dmy-KD. Furthermore, Wt1a stimulated the promoter activity of Dmy, suggesting Wt1a as a regulator of Dmy. These findings provide new insights into the role of vertebrate sex-determining genes associated with the molecular interplay between the male and female pathways..
||Tapas Chakraborty, Sipra Mohapatra, Megumi Tobayama, Kayoko Ohta, Yong Woon Ryu, Yukinori Kazeto, Kohei Ohta, Linyan Zhou, Yoshitaka Nagahama, Takahiro Matsubara, Hatching enzymes disrupt aberrant gonadal degeneration by the autophagy/apoptosis cell fate decision, Scientific reports, 10.1038/s41598-017-03314-7, 7, 1, 2017.12, Environmental stressors, gonadal degenerative diseases and tumour development can significantly alter the oocyte physiology, and species fertility and fitness. To expand the molecular understanding about oocyte degradation, we isolated several spliced variants of Japanese anchovy hatching enzymes (AcHEs; ovastacin homologue) 1 and 2, and analysed their potential in oocyte sustenance. Particularly, AcHE1b, an ovary-specific, steroid-regulated, methylation-dependent, stress-responsive isoform, was neofunctionalized to regulate autophagic oocyte degeneration. AcHE1a and 2 triggered apoptotic degeneration in vitellogenic and mature oocytes, respectively. Progesterone, starvation, and high temperature elevated the total degenerating oocyte population and AcHE1b transcription by hyper-demethylation. Overexpression, knockdown and intracellular zinc ion chelation study confirmed the functional significance of AcHE1b in autophagy induction, possibly to mitigate the stress effects in fish, via ion-homeostasis. Our finding chronicles the importance of AcHEs in stress-influenced apoptosis/autophagy cell fate decision and may prove significant in reproductive failure assessments, gonadal health maintenance and ovarian degenerative disease therapy..
||T. Chakraborty, S. Mohapatra, Lin Yan Zhou, K. Ohta, Takahiro Matsubara, Taisen Iguchi, Yoshitaka Nagahama, Estrogen Receptor β2 Oversees Germ Cell Maintenance and Gonadal Sex Differentiation in Medaka, Oryzias latipes, Stem Cell Reports, 10.1016/j.stemcr.2019.07.013, 13, 2, 419-433, 2019.08, In vertebrates, estrogen receptors are essential for estrogen-associated early gonadal sex development. Our previous studies revealed sexual dimorphic expression of estrogen receptor β2 (ERβ2) during embryogenesis of medaka, and here we investigated the functional importance of ERβ2 in female gonad development and maintenance using a transgenerational ERβ2-knockdown (ERβ2-KD) line and ERβ2-null mutants. We found that ERβ2 reduction favored male-biased gene transcription, suppressed female-responsive gene expression, and affected SDF1a and CXCR4b co-assisted chemotactic primordial germ cell (PGC) migration. Co-overexpression of SDF1a and CXXR4b restored the ERβ2-KD/KO associated PGC mismigration. Further analysis confirmed that curtailment of ERβ2 increased intracellular Ca<sup>2+</sup> concentration, disrupted intra- and extracellular calcium homeostasis, and instigated autophagic germ cell degradation and germ cell loss, which in some cases ultimately affected the XX female sexual development. This study is expected improve our understanding of germ cell maintenance and sex spectrum, and hence open new avenues for reproductive disorder management. In this article, Chakraborty et al. find that estrogen receptor β2 (ERβ2) plays multifaceted crucial roles in medaka gonadal development and sexuality. ERβ2 predominantly expresses in germ cells, influences the SDF1/CXCR4 chemotaxis, PGC migration, and death, and regulates germ cell proliferation and various sex-biased gene transcriptions that are essential for gonadal sex assignment and maintenance..