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    1. KWoCurr 1 point2 points3 points 5 hours ago (0 children)I actually do use Dewey!

      reply to https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/1c4kaps/giving_you_notes_a_unique_id_the_debate_continues/kzop2yh/

      I'm with you on some of this, but let me play devil's advocate for a moment, so that we might hew closer to the question u/atomicnotes has posed:

      If a Dewey Decimal Number is equivalent to a topic heading or subject, then what is the difference between using these subject/category/tag headings and forgoing the work of translating into a DC number (a task which is far less straightforward for those without a library science). If there is a onto to one and onto correspondence there should mathematically be no difference.

      And how does one treat insightful material on geometry (516), for example, which comes from a book classified about political science (320-329)?

      In a similar vein, why not use Otlet's Universal Decimal Classification which more easily allows for the admixture of topics as well as time periods?


      Separately, I'll echo your valuable statement:

      "I think everyone stumbles into a system of their own. I suspect the best practice here is the one that works for you!"

    1. Note: This response was posted by the corresponding author to Review Commons. The content has not been altered except for formatting.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      We thank all reviewers for their thorough assessment and constructive comments. We are glad that the reviewers appreciate that our findings are of interest to the nuclear transport field and that our extension of the use of the RITE methodology can be a valuable tool for the further characterization of NPCs that differ in composition and potentially function. In response to the reviewers’ comments, we have revised the text to incorporate their suggestions and improve overall readability and clarity. Furthermore, we propose to perform a set of additional experiments to address the reviewers’ most important critiques. Below we list our response with the reviewer comments reprinted in dark grey and our response in blue for easier orientation. We have added numbering of the comments for easier orientation.

      Many of the comments made by the reviewers have already been implemented, additional points will be addressed in a revised version of the manuscript as detailed below.

      Reviewer #1 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      The authors extended the existing recombination-induced tag exchange (RITE) technology to show that they can image a subset of NPCs, improving signal-to-noise ratios for live cell imaging in yeast, and to track the stability or dynamics of specific nuclear pore proteins across multiple cell divisions. Further, the authors use this technology to show that the nuclear basket proteins Mlp1, Mlp2 and Pml39 are stably associated with "old NPCs" through multiple cell cycles. The authors show that the presence of Mlp1 in these "old NPCs" correlates with exclusion of Mlp1-positive NPCs from the nucleolar territory. A surprising result is that basket-less NPCs can be excluded from the non-nucleolar region, an observation that correlates with the presence of Nup2 on the NPC regardless of maturation state of the NPC. In support of the proposal that retention of NPCs via Mlp1 and Nup2 in non-nucleolar regions, simulation data is presented to suggest that basket-less NPCs diffuse faster in the plane of the nuclear envelope.

      However, there are some points that do need addressing:

      Major Points 1. Taking into account that the Nup2 result in Figure 4B forms the basis for one half of the proposed model in Figure 6 regarding the exclusion of NPCs from the nucleolar region of the NE, there is a relatively small amount of data in support of this finding and this proposed model. For example, the only data for Nup2 in the manuscript is a column chart in Figure 4B with no supporting fluorescence microscopy examples for any Nup2 deletion. Further, the Nup60 deletion mutant will have zero basket-containing NPCs, whereas the Nup2 deletion will be a mixture of basket-containing and basket-less NPCs. The only support for the localization of basket-containing NPCs in the Nup2 deletion mutant is through a reference "Since Mlp1-positive NPCs remain excluded from the nucleolar territory in nup2Δ cells (Galy et al., 2004), the homogenous distribution observed in this mutant must be caused predominantly by the redistribution of Mlp-negative NPCs into the nucleolar territory."

      We have already added fluorescent images of the nup2d strain to figure 4A in the preliminary revision.

      In addition, we will repeat the experiment from Galy et al. 2004 to test whether Mlp-positive NPCs are excluded from nucleoli in our hands as well.

      Furthermore, we propose to carry out more experiments to pinpoint which domains of Nup2 contribute to nucleolar exclusion, which will provide more insight into the mechanism behind this effect. We propose to do this by analyzing NPC localization in mutants expressing truncations of Nup2 with deletions for individual domains as their only copy of Nup2. Regardless of whether we find a single domain of Nup2 responsible of a combinatorial action, this experiment will indicate a potential molecular mechanism for nucleolar exclusion.

      1. The authors could consider utilizing this opportunity to discuss their technological innovations in the context of the prior work of Onischenko et al., 2020. This work is referenced for the statement "RITE can be used to distinguish between old and new NPCs" Page 2, Line 43. However, it is not referenced for the statement "We constructed a RITE-cassette that allows the switch from a GFP-labelled protein to a new protein that is not fluorescently labelled (RITE(GFP-to-dark))" despite Onischenko et al., 2020 having already constructed a RITE-cassette for the GFP-to-dark transition. The authors could consider taking this opportunity to instead focus on their innovative approach to apply this technology to decrease the number of fluorescently-tagged NPCs by dilution across multiple cell divisions and to interpret this finding as a measure of the stability of nuclear pore proteins within the broader NPC.

      We apologize for this imprecise citation. We have modified the text to indicate that our RITE cassette was previously used in two publications. It now reads: “We used a RITE-cassette that allows the switch from a GFP-labelled protein to a new protein that is not fluorescently labelled (RITE(GFP-to-dark)) (Onischenko et al., 2020, Kralt et al., 2022). “

      1. The authors could also consider taking this opportunity to discuss their results in the context of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae nuclear pore complex structures published e.g. in Kim et al., 2018, Akey et al., 2022, Akey et al., 2023 in which the arrangement of proteins in the nuclear basket is presented, and also work from the Kohler lab (Mészáros et al., 2015) on how the basket proteins are anchored to the NPC. There is additional literature that also might help provide some perspective to the findings in the current manuscript, such as the observation that a lesser amount of Mlp2 to Mlp1 observed is consistent with prior work (e.g. Kim et al., 2018) and that intranuclear Mlp1 foci are also formed after Mlp1 overexpression (Strambio-de-Castillia et al., 1999).

      Following the reviewer’s suggestion, we extended our discussion of basket Nup stoichiometry and organization in the discussion section including several of the citations mentioned. At this point, we did not see a good way to incorporate discussion about the nuclear Mlp1 foci formed after Mlp1 overexpression. However, this observation is in line with the foci formed in cells lacking Nup60, suggesting that Mlp1 that cannot be incorporated into NPCs forms nuclear foci.

      Minor Points 1. What is the "lag time" of the doRITE switching? Do the authors believe that it is comparable to the approximate 1-hour timeframe following beta-estradiol induction as shown previously in Chen et al. Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 28, Issue 24, 15 December 2000, Page e108, https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/28.24.e108

      Our data (e.g. newRITE, Figure S3B) suggest that the switch occurs on a similar timeframe at

      1. The authors could consider a brief explanation of radial position (um) for the benefit of the reader, in Figures 1E (right panel) and 2B (right panel), perhaps using a diagram to make it easier to understand the X-axis (um).

      To address this, we have now included a diagram and refer to it in the figure legend.

      1. In Figure 1G, would the authors consider changing the vertical axis title and the figure legend wording from "mean number of NPCs per cell" to "mean labeled NPC # per cell" to reflect that what is being characterized are the remaining GFP-bearing NPCs over time?

      Thank you for spotting this inaccuracy. We have changed the label to “mean # of labeled NPCs per cell”.

      1. In Figure 2C, the magenta-labeled protein in the micrographs is not described in the figure or the legend.

      As requested, a description has been added in figure and legend.

      1. In Figure S2A, there is an arrow indicating a Nup159 focus, but this is not described in the figure legend, as is done in Figure 2C.

      A description has been added to the legend.

      1. In Figure S3C, the figure legend does not match the figure. Was this supposed to be designed like Figure 3C and is missing part of the figure? Or is the legend a typographical error?

      We apologize for this error and thank the reviewer for spotting it. The legend has been corrected.

      1. In Figure S4B, the spontaneously recombined RITE (GFP-to-dark) Nup133-V5 appears in the western blot as equally abundant to pre-recombined Nup133-V5-GFP. In the figure legend, this is explained as cells grown in synthetic media without selection to eliminate cells that have lost their resistance marker from the population. In Cheng et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Dec 15; 28(24): e108, Cre-EBD was not active in the absence of B-estradiol, despite galactose-induced Cre-EBD overexpression. Would the authors be able to comment further on the Cre-Lox RITE system in the manuscript?

      We note that also in the cited publication, cells are grown in the presence of selection to select (as stated in this publication) “against pre-excision events that occur because of low but measurable basal expression of the recombinase”. Although the authors report that spontaneous recombination is reduced with the b-estradiol inducible system (compared to pGAL expression control of the recombinase only), they show negligible spontaneous recombination only within a two-hour time window. Indeed, we also observe low levels of uninduced recombination on a short timeframe, but occasional events can become significant in longer incubation times (e.g. overnight growth) in the absence of selection. It should be noted that in our system, Cre expression is continuously high (TDH3-promoter) and not controlled by an inducible GAL promoter. We have added the information about the promoter controlling Cre-expression in the methods section.

      1. In Figure 6, the authors may want to consider inverting the flow of the cartoon model to start from the wild type condition and apply the deletion mutations at each step to "arrive" at the mutant conditions, rather than starting with mutant conditions and "adding back" proteins.

      Following the suggestions of the reviewer, we have modified our model to more clearly represent the contributions of the different basket components.

      Reviewer #1 (Significance (Required)):

      Recent work has drawn attention to the fact that not all NPCs are structurally or functionally the same, even within a single cell. In this light, the work here from Zsok et al. is an important demonstration of the kind of methodologies that can shed light on the stability and functions of different subpopulations of NPCs. Altogether, these data are used to support an interesting and topical model for Nup2 and nuclear-basket driven retention of NPCs in non-nucleolar regions of the nuclear envelope.

      We thank the reviewer for this positive assessment of our work.

      Reviewer #2 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      In this study, Zsok et al. develop innovative methods to examine the dynamics of individual nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) at the nuclear envelope of budding yeast. The underlying premise is that with the emergence of biochemically distinct NPCs that co-exist in the same cell, there is a need to develop tools to functionally isolate and study them. For example, there is a pool of NPCs that lack the nuclear basket over the nucleolus. Although the nature of this exclusion has been investigated in the past, the authors take advantage of a modification of recombination induced tag exchange (RITE), the slow turnover of scaffold nups, the closed mitosis of budding yeast, and extensive high quality time lapse microscopy to ultimately monitor the dynamics of individual NPCs over the nucleolus. By leveraging genetic knockout approaches and auxin-induced degradation with sophisticated quantitative and rigorous analyses, the authors conclude that there may be two mechanisms dependent on nuclear basket proteins that impact nucleolar exclusion. They also incorporate some computational simulations to help support their conclusions. Overall, the data are of the highest quality and are rigorously quantified, the manuscript is well written, accessible, and scholarly - the conclusions are thus on solid footing.

      We thank the reviewer for this assessment.

      Reviewer #2 (Significance (Required)):

      I have no concerns about the data or the conclusions in this manuscript. However, the significance is not overly clear as there is no major conceptual advance put forward, nor is there any new function suggested for the NPCs over nucleoli. As NPCs are immobile in metazoans, the significance may also be limited to a specialized audience.

      We respectfully disagree with this assessment. It is becoming increasingly clear that NPC variants are also present in other model systems. We characterize the interaction between conserved nuclear components, the NPC, the nucleolus and chromatin. While the specific architecture of the nucleus varies between species, many of these interactions are conserved. For example, Nup50, the homologue of Nup2, interacts with chromatin also in other systems including mammalian cells and thus may contribute to regulating the interplay between the nuclear basket and adjoining chromatin. Furthermore, our work demonstrates the use of a novel approach in the application of RITE that can be useful for other researchers in the field of NPC biology and beyond. For example, doRITE could be applied to study the properties of aged NPCs in the context of young cells. In the revised manuscript, we attempt to better highlight and discuss the conceptual advances of our manuscript.

      Reviewer #3 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      The manuscript of Zsok et al. describes the role of nuclear basket proteins in the distribution and mobility of nuclear pore complexes in budding yeast. In particular, the authors showed that the doRITE approach can be used for the analysis of stable and dynamically associated NUPs. Moreover, it can distinguish individual NUPs and follow the inheritance of individual NPCs from mother to daughter cells. The author's findings highlight that Mlp1, Mlp2, and Pml39 are stably associated with the nuclear pore; deletion of Mlp1-Mlp2 and Nup60 leads to the higher NPC density in the nucleolar territory; and NPCs exhibit increased mobility in the absence of the nuclear basket components.

      The manuscript contains most figures supporting the data, and data supports the conclusions. However, authors need to include better explanations for figures in the text and figure legends. Lack of detailed explanation can pose challenges for non-experts. In addition, the authors jump over figures and shuffle them through the manuscript, which disrupts the flow and coherence of the manuscript.

      We thank the reviewer for pointing this out. We have modified the figure legends throughout the manuscript in an attempt to make them more accessible to the reader. In addition, we will revise the figure order and text as suggested to improve the flow of the manuscript.

      Major comments: 1) The nuclear basket contains Nup1, Nup2, Nup60, Mlp1, and Mlp2 in yeast. Nup60 works as a seed for Mlp1/Mlp2 and Nup2 recruitment and plays a key role in the assembly of nuclear pore basket scaffold (PMID: 35148185). Logically, the authors focused primarily on Nup60 in the current manuscript. However, NUP153 has another ortholog of yeast - Nup1, which has not been studied in this work. I recommend adjusting the title of the manuscript to: Nup60 and Mlp1/Mlp2 regulate the distribution and mobility of nuclear pore complexes in budding yeast. I also suggest discussing why work on Nup1 was not included/performed in the manuscript.

      We have changed the title to “Nuclear basket proteins regulate the distribution and mobility of nuclear pore complexes in budding yeast”. We think that this better captures the essence of our manuscript than listing all four proteins (Mlp1/2, Nup60 and Nup2) in the title.

      We initially focused on the network that is involved in Mlp1/2 interaction at the NPC. However, we agree that it would be interesting to test, whether Nup1 plays a role in the analyzed processes as well. Since Nup1 is essential in our yeast background, we will use auxin-inducible degradation of Nup1 to test its involvement in NPC distribution.

      2) Figure 2B: I suggest choosing a more representative image for Pml39. It looks not like a stable component but rather dynamic as NUP60 or Gle1 based on figure showed in Figure 2B.

      Due to its lower copy number, Pml39 is much more difficult to visualize than the other Nups. To guide the reader, we have now added arrow heads to point to remaining Pml39 foci at the 14 hour timepoint. The 11 hour time point most clearly show that Pml39 is less dynamic than other Nups such as Nup116, Nup60 or Gle1. At this time point, clear dots for Pml39 can be detected, while e.g. Nup116 in the same figure exhibits a more distributed signal and the signal for Nup60 and Gle1 is no longer visible. We will describe this more clearly in our revised manuscript as well.

      3) Depletion of AID-tagged proteins needs to be supported by Western blot analysis with protein-specific antibodies, and PCR results should be included in supplementary data to demonstrate the homozygosity of the strains.

      The correct genomic tagging of the depleted proteins by AID was confirmed by PCR. We will include this PCR analysis in the supplemental data. Please note that we are working with haploid yeast cells. Therefore, all strains only carry a single copy of the genes. Unfortunately, we do not have protein-specific antibodies against the depleted proteins. However, the Mlp1-mislocalization phenotype demonstrates that depletion of Nup60 is successful and the depletion strain for PolII depletion was used and characterized previously (PMID: 31753862, PMID: 36220102).

      4) Figure 5B: Snapshots of images from the movie are required. There are no images, only quantifications.

      We have replaced the supplemental movie with a movie showing the detection by Trackmate as well as overlaid tracks. As requested, a snapshot of this movie was inserted in figure 5B. We have also moved the example tracks from the supplement to the main figure. Furthermore, we will deposit the tracking dataset in the ETH Research Collection to make it available to the community.

      5) Description of figure legends is more technical than supporting/explaining the figure. For example, below my suggestions for Figure 1D. Please, consider more detailed explanation for other figures. (D) Left: Schematic of the RITE cassette. NUP of interest is tagged with V5 tag and eGFP fluorescent protein where LoxP sites flank eGFP. Before the beta-estradiol-induced recombination, the old NPCs are marked with eGFP signal, whereas new NPCs lack an eGFP signal after the recombination. ORF: open reading frame; V5: V5-tag; loxP: loxP recombination site; eGFP: enhanced green fluorescent protein. Right: doRITE assay schematic of stable or dynamic Nup behavior over cell divisions in yeast after the recombination.

      We have modified the figure legends throughout the manuscript to make them more explanatory and helpful for the reader.

      In addition, I recommend highlighting the result in the title of the figures. Please, re-consider titles for Figure S3.

      We have revised the title for Figure S3 to state a result. It now reads: “Mlp1 truncations localize preferentially to non-nucleolar NPCs.”

      Minor: i) P.1 Line 31. Extra period symbol before the "(Figure 1A)".

      Fixed

      ii) P.2 Line 10. Inconsistent writing of PML39 and MLP1. Both genes are capitalized. The same for P.4 Line 16. In some cases all letters are capitalized in other only the first one.

      We are following the official yeast gene nomenclature by spelling gene names in italicized capitals and protein names with only the first letter capitalized. We are sorry that this can be confusing for readers more familiar with other model systems but we adhere to the accepted yeast nomenclature standards.

      iii) P.2 Line 18-22. The sentence is too long and hard to read. I recommend splitting it into two sentences.

      We agree and have fixed this.

      iv) P.2-3 Line 46-47. The sentence is unclear. Suggestion: We expected that successive cell divisions would dilute the signal of labelled and stably associated with the NPC nucleoporins. By contrast, ...

      We have modified the sentence to read: “When tagging a Nup that stably associates with the NPC, we expected that successive cell divisions would dilute labelled NPCs by inheritance to both mother and daughter cells leading to a low density of labelled NPCs. By contrast,…”

      v) P.4 Line 17-21. Please, consider adding extra information and clarifying lines 19-21. For example, in Line 19 Figure 2B you can add that the reader needs to compare row 1 and row 4.

      Thank you, we have fixed this as suggested.

      vi) P. 5 Line 15. When a number begins a sentence, that number should always be spelled out. You can pe-phrase the sentence to avoid it. Also, I recommend adding an explanation/hypothesis of why new NPCs are less frequently detected in nucleolar territory.

      We have formatted the text. Interestingly, new NPCs are more frequently detected in the nucleolar territory. We have reformulated this section to make it clearer, also in response to the next comment.

      vii) P.5 Line 17-22. I recommend re-phrasing these two sentences. Logically, it is clear that Mlp1/Mlp2 loss mimics "old NPCs" to look more like "new NPCs", and for that reason, they are more frequently included in the nucleolar territory, but it is not clear when you read these two sentences from the first time.

      We have reformulated this section to make it clearer.

      viii) P6. Line 16. No figure supporting data on graph (Figure 3B).

      We have added fluorescent images of the nup2d strain to figure 4A.

      ix) P.7 Line 10-13. The sentence is unclear.

      We have shortened the sentence and moved part of the content to the discussion in the next paragraph.

      x) P.13,14 etc. If 0h timepoint has been used for normalization, why is it present on the graph?

      The 0h timepoint is shown for comparison and to illustrate the standard deviation in the data.

      xi) P.15. Line 32-33. There is no image here. Potentially wrong description of the figure.

      Thank you for spotting this. This was fixed.

      xii) Figures: - Inconsistent labeling of figures. For example, Fig.1, Fig.1S, Figure 2 etc.

      Thank you, this has been corrected.

      • Inconsistent labeling of figures. For example, Fig.1 G "mean number of NPCs per cell" - no capitalization of the first letter. Fig.1S "Fraction in population" is capitalize d. In general, titles of axis should be capitalized.

      Thank you for spotting this. This was fixed.

      Suggestions for Figure 1D and Figure 6 are attached as a separate file.

      We thank the reviewer for their suggestions to improve these figures. We have taken their recommendation and revised the figures accordingly (see also response to reviewer 1, minor point 8).

      Reviewer #3 (Significance (Required)):

      Zsok et al. used the recombination-induced tag exchange (RITE) approach, which is an interesting and powerful method to follow individual NUPs over time with respect to their localization and abundance. This approach has been used before in PMID: 36515990 to distinguish pre-existing and newly synthesized Nup2 populations and has been extended to other basket NUPs in this work. Using this method, the authors support the earlier data on basket nucleoporins and highlight new insights on how basket nucleoporins regulate NPCs distribution and mobility. Overall, the manuscript provides new details on the stability of nucleoporins in yeast and how these data align with the mass spectrometry and FRAP data performed earlier in other studies. The limitation of this study is the absence of data on Nup1. It was unclear why these data were not present. Additional data can be included on the dynamics of Pml39, for example, using the FRAP method. The dynamic of Pml39 at the pore was shown only using the doRITE method.

      As suggested, we propose to test whether Nup1 influences NPC organization (see also above). Unfortunately, we are not able to provide orthologous data for the dynamics of Pml39. As we have discussed in the manuscript, FRAP is not suitable for the analysis of the dynamics of most nucleoporins in yeast due to the high lateral mobility of NPCs in the nuclear envelope and has previously generated misleading results for Mlp1. Furthermore, the low expression levels of Pml39 will make it difficult to obtain reliable FRAP curves for this protein. We therefore do not think that adding FRAP experiments with Pml39 will provide valuable insight.

      However, in addition to the Pml39 doRITE result itself, our observation that the Pml39-dependent pool of Mlp1 exhibits stable association with the NPC supports the interpretation of Pml39 as a stable protein as well.

      In general, this study represents a unique research study of basic research on nuclear pore proteins that will be of general interest to the nuclear transport field.

      Field of expertise: nuclear-cytoplasmic transport, nuclear pore, inducible protein degradation. I do not have sufficient expertise in ExTrack.

    2. Note: This preprint has been reviewed by subject experts for Review Commons. Content has not been altered except for formatting.

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      Referee #3

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      The manuscript of Zsok et al. describes the role of nuclear basket proteins in the distribution and mobility of nuclear pore complexes in budding yeast. In particular, the authors showed that the doRITE approach can be used for the analysis of stable and dynamically associated NUPs. Moreover, it can distinguish individual NUPs and follow the inheritance of individual NPCs from mother to daughter cells. The author's findings highlight that Mlp1, Mlp2, and Pml39 are stably associated with the nuclear pore; deletion of Mlp1-Mlp2 and Nup60 leads to the higher NPC density in the nucleolar territory; and NPCs exhibit increased mobility in the absence of the nuclear basket components.

      The manuscript contains most figures supporting the data, and data supports the conclusions. However, authors need to include better explanations for figures in the text and figure legends. Lack of detailed explanation can pose challenges for non-experts. In addition, the authors jump over figures and shuffle them through the manuscript, which disrupts the flow and coherence of the manuscript.

      Major comments:

      • The nuclear basket contains Nup1, Nup2, Nup60, Mlp1, and Mlp2 in yeast. Nup60 works as a seed for Mlp1/Mlp2 and Nup2 recruitment and plays a key role in the assembly of nuclear pore basket scaffold (PMID: 35148185). Logically, the authors focused primarily on Nup60 in the current manuscript. However, NUP153 has another ortholog of yeast - Nup1, which has not been studied in this work. I recommend adjusting the title of the manuscript to: Nup60 and Mlp1/Mlp2 regulate the distribution and mobility of nuclear pore complexes in budding yeast. I also suggest discussing why work on Nup1 was not included/performed in the manuscript.
      • Figure 2B: I suggest choosing a more representative image for Pml39. It looks not like a stable component but rather dynamic as NUP60 or Gle1 based on figure showed in Figure 2B.
      • Depletion of AID-tagged proteins needs to be supported by Western blot analysis with protein-specific antibodies, and PCR results should be included in supplementary data to demonstrate the homozygosity of the strains.
      • Figure 5B: Snapshots of images from the movie are required. There are no images, only quantifications.
      • Description of figure legends is more technical than supporting/explaining the figure. For example, below my suggestions for Figure 1D. Please, consider more detailed explanation for other figures. (D) Left: Schematic of the RITE cassette. NUP of interest is tagged with V5 tag and eGFP fluorescent protein where LoxP sites flank eGFP. Before the beta-estradiol-induced recombination, the old NPCs are marked with eGFP signal, whereas new NPCs lack an eGFP signal after the recombination. ORF: open reading frame; V5: V5-tag; loxP: loxP recombination site; eGFP: enhanced green fluorescent protein. Right: doRITE assay schematic of stable or dynamic Nup behavior over cell divisions in yeast after the recombination.

      In addition, I recommend highlighting the result in the title of the figures. Please, re-consider titles for Figure S3.

      Minor:

      P.1 Line 31. Extra period symbol before the "(Figure 1A)".

      P.2 Line 10. Inconsistent writing of PML39 and MLP1. Both genes are capitalized. The same for P.4 Line 16. In some cases all letters are capitalized in other only the first one.

      P.2 Line 18-22. The sentence is too long and hard to read. I recommend splitting it into two sentences.

      P.2-3 Line 46-47. The sentence is unclear. Suggestion: We expected that successive cell divisions would dilute the signal of labelled and stably associated with the NPC nucleoporins. By contrast, ...

      P.4 Line 17-21. Please, consider adding extra information and clarifying lines 19-21. For example, in Line 19 Figure 2B you can add that the reader needs to compare row 1 and row 4.

      P. 5 Line 15. When a number begins a sentence, that number should always be spelled out. You can pe-phrase the sentence to avoid it. Also, I recommend adding an explanation/hypothesis of why new NPCs are less frequently detected in nucleolar territory.

      P.5 Line 17-22. I recommend re-phrasing these two sentences. Logically, it is clear that Mlp1/Mlp2 loss mimics "old NPCs" to look more like "new NPCs", and for that reason, they are more frequently included in the nucleolar territory, but it is not clear when you read these two sentences from the first time.

      P6. Line 16. No figure supporting data on graph (Figure 3B).

      P.7 Line 10-13. The sentence is unclear.

      P.13,14 etc. If 0h timepoint has been used for normalization, why is it present on the graph?

      P.15. Line 32-33. There is no image here. Potentially wrong description of the figure.

      Figures:

      • Inconsistent labeling of figures. For example, Fig.1, Fig.1S, Figure 2 etc.
      • Inconsistent labeling of figures. For example, Fig.1 G "mean number of NPCs per cell" - no capitalization of the first letter. Fig.1S "Fraction in population" is capitalized. In general, titles of axis should be capitalized.

      Suggestions for Figure 1D and Figure 6 are attached as a separate file.

      Significance

      Zsok et al. used the recombination-induced tag exchange (RITE) approach, which is an interesting and powerful method to follow individual NUPs over time with respect to their localization and abundance. This approach has been used before in PMID: 36515990 to distinguish pre-existing and newly synthesized Nup2 populations and has been extended to other basket NUPs in this work. Using this method, the authors support the earlier data on basket nucleoporins and highlight new insights on how basket nucleoporins regulate NPCs distribution and mobility. Overall, the manuscript provides new details on the stability of nucleoporins in yeast and how these data align with the mass spectrometry and FRAP data performed earlier in other studies. The limitation of this study is the absence of data on Nup1. It was unclear why these data were not present. Additional data can be included on the dynamics of Pml39, for example, using the FRAP method. The dynamic of Pml39 at the pore was shown only using the doRITE method.

      In general, this study represents a unique research study of basic research on nuclear pore proteins that will be of general interest to the nuclear transport field.

      Field of expertise: nuclear-cytoplasmic transport, nuclear pore, inducible protein degradation. I do not have sufficient expertise in ExTrack.

    3. Note: This preprint has been reviewed by subject experts for Review Commons. Content has not been altered except for formatting.

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      Referee #2

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      In this study, Zsok et al. develop innovative methods to examine the dynamics of individual nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) at the nuclear envelope of budding yeast. The underlying premise is that with the emergence of biochemically distinct NPCs that co-exist in the same cell, there is a need to develop tools to functionally isolate and study them. For example, there is a pool of NPCs that lack the nuclear basket over the nucleolus. Although the nature of this exclusion has been investigated in the past, the authors take advantage of a modification of recombination induced tag exchange (RITE), the slow turnover of scaffold nups, the closed mitosis of budding yeast, and extensive high quality time lapse microscopy to ultimately monitor the dynamics of individual NPCs over the nucleolus. By leveraging genetic knockout approaches and auxin-induced degradation with sophisticated quantitative and rigorous analyses, the authors conclude that there may be two mechanisms dependent on nuclear basket proteins that impact nucleolar exclusion. They also incorporate some computational simulations to help support their conclusions. Overall, the data are of the highest quality and are rigorously quantified, the manuscript is well written, accessible, and scholarly - the conclusions are thus on solid footing.

      Significance

      I have no concerns about the data or the conclusions in this manuscript. However, the significance is not overly clear as there is no major conceptual advance put forward, nor is there any new function suggested for the NPCs over nucleoli. As NPCs are immobile in metazoans, the significance may also be limited to a specialized audience.

    4. Note: This preprint has been reviewed by subject experts for Review Commons. Content has not been altered except for formatting.

      Learn more at Review Commons


      Referee #1

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      The authors extended the existing recombination-induced tag exchange (RITE) technology to show that they can image a subset of NPCs, improving signal-to-noise ratios for live cell imaging in yeast, and to track the stability or dynamics of specific nuclear pore proteins across multiple cell divisions. Further, the authors use this technology to show that the nuclear basket proteins Mlp1, Mlp2 and Pml39 are stably associated with "old NPCs" through multiple cell cycles. The authors show that the presence of Mlp1 in these "old NPCs" correlates with exclusion of Mlp1-positive NPCs from the nucleolar territory. A surprising result is that basket-less NPCs can be excluded from the non-nucleolar region, an observation that correlates with the presence of Nup2 on the NPC regardless of maturation state of the NPC. In support of the proposal that retention of NPCs via Mlp1 and Nup2 in non-nucleolar regions, simulation data is presented to suggest that basket-less NPCs diffuse faster in the plane of the nuclear envelope.

      However, there are some points that do need addressing:

      Major Points

      1. Taking into account that the Nup2 result in Figure 4B forms the basis for one half of the proposed model in Figure 6 regarding the exclusion of NPCs from the nucleolar region of the NE, there is a relatively small amount of data in support of this finding and this proposed model. For example, the only data for Nup2 in the manuscript is a column chart in Figure 4B with no supporting fluorescence microscopy examples for any Nup2 deletion. Further, the Nup60 deletion mutant will have zero basket-containing NPCs, whereas the Nup2 deletion will be a mixture of basket-containing and basket-less NPCs. The only support for the localization of basket-containing NPCs in the Nup2 deletion mutant is through a reference "Since Mlp1-positive NPCs remain excluded from the nucleolar territory in nup2Δ cells (Galy et al., 2004), the homogenous distribution observed in this mutant must be caused predominantly by the redistribution of Mlp-negative NPCs into the nucleolar territory."
      2. The authors could consider utilizing this opportunity to discuss their technological innovations in the context of the prior work of Onischenko et al., 2020. This work is referenced for the statement "RITE can be used to distinguish between old and new NPCs" Page 2, Line 43. However, it is not referenced for the statement "We constructed a RITE-cassette that allows the switch from a GFP-labelled protein to a new protein that is not fluorescently labelled (RITE(GFP-to-dark))" despite Onischenko et al., 2020 having already constructed a RITE-cassette for the GFP-to-dark transition. The authors could consider taking this opportunity to instead focus on their innovative approach to apply this technology to decrease the number of fluorescently-tagged NPCs by dilution across multiple cell divisions and to interpret this finding as a measure of the stability of nuclear pore proteins within the broader NPC.
      3. The authors could also consider taking this opportunity to discuss their results in the context of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae nuclear pore complex structures published e.g. in Kim et al., 2018, Akey et al., 2022, Akey et al., 2023 in which the arrangement of proteins in the nuclear basket is presented, and also work from the Kohler lab (Mészáros et al., 2015) on how the basket proteins are anchored to the NPC. There is additional literature that also might help provide some perspective to the findings in the current manuscript, such as the observation that a lesser amount of Mlp2 to Mlp1 observed is consistent with prior work (e.g. Kim et al., 2018) and that intranuclear Mlp1 foci are also formed after Mlp1 overexpression (Strambio-de-Castillia et al., 1999).

      Minor Points

      1. What is the "lag time" of the doRITE switching? Do the authors believe that it is comparable to the approximate 1-hour timeframe following beta-estradiol induction as shown previously in Chen et al. Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 28, Issue 24, 15 December 2000, Page e108, https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/28.24.e108
      2. The authors could consider a brief explanation of radial position (um) for the benefit of the reader, in Figures 1E (right panel) and 2B (right panel), perhaps using a diagram to make it easier to understand the X-axis (um).
      3. In Figure 1G, would the authors consider changing the vertical axis title and the figure legend wording from "mean number of NPCs per cell" to "mean labeled NPC # per cell" to reflect that what is being characterized are the remaining GFP-bearing NPCs over time?
      4. In Figure 2C, the magenta-labeled protein in the micrographs is not described in the figure or the legend.
      5. In Figure S2A, there is an arrow indicating a Nup159 focus, but this is not described in the figure legend, as is done in Figure 2C.
      6. In Figure S3C, the figure legend does not match the figure. Was this supposed to be designed like Figure 3C and is missing part of the figure? Or is the legend a typographical error?
      7. In Figure S4B, the spontaneously recombined RITE (GFP-to-dark) Nup133-V5 appears in the western blot as equally abundant to pre-recombined Nup133-V5-GFP. In the figure legend, this is explained as cells grown in synthetic media without selection to eliminate cells that have lost their resistance marker from the population. In Cheng et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Dec 15; 28(24): e108, Cre-EBD was not active in the absence of B-estradiol, despite galactose-induced Cre-EBD overexpression. Would the authors be able to comment further on the Cre-Lox RITE system in the manuscript?
      8. In Figure 6, the authors may want to consider inverting the flow of the cartoon model to start from the wild type condition and apply the deletion mutations at each step to "arrive" at the mutant conditions, rather than starting with mutant conditions and "adding back" proteins.

      Significance

      Recent work has drawn attention to the fact that not all NPCs are structurally or functionally the same, even within a single cell. In this light, the work here from Zsok et al. is an important demonstration of the kind of methodologies that can shed light on the stability and functions of different subpopulations of NPCs. Altogether, these data are used to support an interesting and topical model for Nup2 and nuclear-basket driven retention of NPCs in non-nucleolar regions of the nuclear envelope.

  2. inst-fs-iad-prod.inscloudgate.net inst-fs-iad-prod.inscloudgate.net
    1. “Close your mouth, señora,” Luzia said gently as she gathered her skirts.“You look like you’re waiting for someone to push a cake into it.”

      tag team fr

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      Referee #4

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      Summary:

      In this work, Zemlianski and colleagues exploit S. pombe mutations responsible for catastrophic mitoses, in particular those leading to a cut / cut-like phenotypes, whereby cytokinesis takes place without proper DNA segregation, trapping DNA molecules by septum formation in between the two separating cells. The work builds on the team's previous observation that these defects can be alleviated when cells are grown in a nitrogen-rich medium, and motivate their efforts to understand this better. The manuscript is written in a concise, neat and informative manner, and the results are presented clearly, with consistence in the format and the style all along. The analyses appear to have been, in general, conducted under the best standards. The findings are important and the data are of good quality. I have, however, important concerns that will be detailed below, and which, as I hope will be made clear, question the pertinence of including "TOR signaling" in the title, and making a distinction between "good" and "poor" nitrogen sources in the abstract.

      Major comments:

      Results

      The conclusion that the phenotype is suppressed by "good" but not "poor" nitrogen sources is not sufficiently supported. First, this interpretation is based on comparing only two or three sources of each type; Second, the "good" source glutamate needed to be raised for it to have a significant effect; 3) there is a strange datum, as Glu 100 mM in Graph 1D looks exactly the same as Glu 50 mM in Graph 1E, I guess there is a mistake in the plotting; 4) and, more important, the fact that the authors had the nice initiative of reproducing their YES medium experiments for every graph led to the inevitable fact that slightly different values were obtained every time, which is normal. While the values yield very similar data for panels 1B, 1C and even 1D, the frequency of catastrophic mitoses for the cbf11 mutant in YES in panel 1E is much lower than in panel Figure 1B, for example. This has the consequence of making the suppression obtained when adding 'poor' sources, such as proline or uracil, non-significantly different. Thus, the authors conclude that 'poor' nitrogen sources are not good at suppressing the phenotype. I suggest that the authors pool all their YES data (they will have 12 repeats of their experiment) and plot, in a single graph, all the other treatments. By performing the analyses again, using the appropriate statistical test for that, perhaps they will have a surprise. After which, the question is, is it so important to put the emphasis on whether the source is good or poor? The incontestable observation is that, in general, there is clear trend of suppression of the phenotype.

      In Figure 2, images should be shown as an example of what was seen, what was quantified, how the "decrease in nuclear cross-section area" looked like indeed.

      Also, important for Figure 2, the authors used the nuclear cross-section area as a readout for nuclear envelope expansion versus shrinkage. For that, they did not use a fluorescent marker for the nuclear envelope that is continuous, but a nucleoporin (Cut11-GFP). In my experience, nucleoporins being discontinuously distributed throughout the nuclear envelope, the area encompassed by the signal may be underestimated in the event of a strong nuclear envelope deformation, as I have tried to illustrate in the scheme below: I WILL SEND THE SCHEME BY MAIL TO THE EDITOR, AS I CANNOT COPY-PASTE IT IN THE SYSTEM BOX Given that the photos from which the data were retrieved have not been shown, I cannot at present judge whether the use of a nuclear envelope marker providing continuous signals is absolutely necessary or not, and whether this consideration will affect (or not at all) the conclusions.

      The authors do not seem to comment or pay any attention to a very crucial result they obtain: the addition of ammonium to the WT strain has the effect of also restricting the nuclear cross-section area. They indeed say in their text "we did not observe any differences between cultures grown with or without ammonium supplementation (Fig.2)". I guess they refer here to the cbf11 mutant, in which case the sentence is true (although unfair to the WT). But by neglecting that the supplementation with ammonium had the power of reducing the cross-section area of WT nuclei, they are misled (or misleading) in their interpretation. The same, although milder, is true for Figure 5C, where the addition of ammonium to the WT culture does not alter the median value of prophase + metaphase duration, however has the virtue of very much rendering sharp (less scattered) the population of values, suggesting that the accuracy / control of the process is enhanced. What does this mean? I think it should be carefully thought about and considered as a whole.

      In the same line as above, the authors omit the RNA-seq analysis concerning the treatment of the WT with ammonium (Figure 3). This is very important to understand the standpoint of what this treatment elicits. It would also help unravel the observations I mentioned above that the authors did not assess in their descriptions. Also regarding Figure 3, it is completely obscure why the authors decided to show the genes on the right axis, and not others. Knowing how vast the lipid pathways are, there are likely many other hits that could be relevant. A particular thought goes for the proteins in charge of filling lipid droplets, such as sterol- and fatty acid-esterifying enzymes. Unless a very justified reason is provided, the choice at present seems arbitrary and it would be better to show a more unbiased data representation.

      In the same vein, related to the effect of ammonium onto the WT, in Figure S1 (I want to congratulate the authors for showing their 3 experimental replicates), the results very neatly show that ammonium supplementation to the WT leads to a neat and reproducible increase in TAG, a fact on which the authors do not comment. In the mutant, irrespective of ammonium presence or absence, a huge increase in squalene and steryl esters (SE) are seen. I think the work would benefit from actually quantifying the intensity of these bands and thus materializing this in the form of values. TAG, squalene and SE are all neutral lipids, and are all stored within LD to prevent lipotoxicity if accumulated in the endoplasmic reticulum. While ammonium elicits strong TAG accumulation in the WT, this is not the case in the mutant, likely because the massive occupation of LD storage capacity is overwhelmed with squalene and SE. Could this have something to do with the suppression they are studying?

      In the section of results where the authors comment the TLC analysis, they write "suggesting failed coordination between sterol and TAG lipid metabolism pathway". As it stands, the sentence is rather devoid of real meaning and may be even misleading, when considering what I wrote before.

      My biggest concern has to do with the very last part, when they explore the implications of TOR:

      • First, all the data presented in the two concerned panels of Figure 7 (B and C) and of Figure S3 lack the values obtained for the single mutants with which cbf11 was combined. This is not acceptable from a genetic point of view, and may prevent us from having important information. For example: if the authors were right that Tor2/TORC1 is ensuring successful progression through closed mitosis (last sentence of results), then one would predict that the tor2-S allele leads to an increase, already per se, of the frequency of catastrophic mitoses. However, at present, I cannot check that.
      • the authors turn to use a ∆ssp2 mutant to "increase Tor2 activity". However, this is a pleiotropic strategy, as AMP-kinase is the major sensor and responder to energy depletion, frequently triggered by glucose shortage, thus I am not sure the effects associated to its absence can be unequivocally be ascribed to a Tor2 raise.
      • there is a counterintuitive observation: rapamycin, which mimics nitrogen shortage, has the same effect than ammonium supplementation. This is strangely bypassed in the discussion, where the authors wrote "we showed increased mitotic fidelity in cbf11 cells when the stress-response branch of the TOR network was suppressed, either by ablation of Tor1/TORC2 or by boosting the activity of the pro-growth Tor2/TORC1 branch. These data are in agreement with previous findings that Tor2/TORC1 inhibition mimics nitrogen starvation".
      • last, and irrespective of what was said above, the authors conclude that the phenotype suppression is due to "a role for Tor2/TORC1 in ensuring successful progression through mitosis". If, as stated by the authors, Tor1/TORC2 absence not only abrogates Tor1/TORC2 activity, but it simultaneously raises Tor2/TORC1 activity, and if reciprocally Tor2/TORC1 increased activity concurs with Tor1/TORC2 attenuation, it cannot therefore be discerned if the suppression is due to Tor2/TORC1 raise or to Tor1/TORC2 dampening.

      Discussion

      The authors invoke that TOR controls lipin, despite what they go on to dismiss the link between TOR and lipids by saying "we did not observe any major changes in phospholipid composition when cells were grown in ammonium-supplemented YES medium compared to plain YES (Figure S2)", with this reinforcing their conclusion that ammonium does not suppress lipid-related cut mutants through directly correcting lipid metabolism defects. While I agree with that reasoning, I invoke again that they nevertheless neglected the clear change observed in their three replicates (Figure S2) that ammonium addition to WT cells strongly increases the amount of TAG (esterified fatty acids). Since lipin activity promotes DAG formation, which then leads to TAG accumulation, this aspect should not be neglected.

      The emphasis on TOR, which expands several paragraphs of the Discussion, should be revisited if the evidence provided for this part of the data is not reinforced.

      To finish, if I may provide some personal thoughts that may be useful for the authors, I would first remind that TAG storage prevents the channeling of phosphatidic acid towards novel phospholipid synthesis thus antagonizes NE expansion, which agrees with their neglected observation for the WT in Figure 2A. The antagonization of NE expansion can be achieved through autophagy (DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-39172-3; DOI 10.1177/25152564231157706), and indeed rapamycin addition (a very potent inducer of autophagy) also suppressed the cut phenotype (Figure 7A). What is more, in S. cerevisiae, autophagy has been shown as important to transition through mitosis conveniently and to prevent mitotic aberrations (DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003245), and to impose a "genome instability" intolerance threshold by restricting NE expansion (DOI 10.1177/25152564231157706). In the first mentioned work, the authors proposed that autophagy may help raising aminoacid levels, which could assist cell cycle progression. This would have the virtue of reconciling the otherwise counterintuitive observation of the authors that rapamycin, which mimics nitrogen shortage, has the same effect than ammonium supplementation. It could be that ammonium supplementation mimics the downstream signal of a complex cascade initiated by actual aminoacid shortage, known to elicit autophagy-like processes (thus explaining why TAG raise, why the NE does not expand), and may culminate with launching a program for more accurate mitosis and genome segregation. In further support, TORC1 inhibition (as elicited by +rapamycin) is a central node that integrates multiple cues, not only nitrogen availability, but also carbon shortage (DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.05.027), and even genetic instability cues (DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.053), perhaps helping unravel why ammonium (via TOR) suppresses very diverse cut mutants, irrespective of whether they stem from lipid or chromatid cohesion deficiencies. These previous works should be considered by the authors.

      Minor

      There was no speculation about why the suppressions are partial.

      Reference 15, cited in the text, is absent from the references list.

      An explanation of which statistical tests were chosen and why they were chosen would be necessary.

      In particular, for the analyses performed for Figure 5, one-way ANOVA should be applied instead of several t-tests.

      A small section in M&M about how data in general was acquired, quantified, plotted and analyzed would be appropriate.

      In the discussion, the sentence "this could mean that the signaling of availability of a good nitrogen source is by itself more important for mitotic fidelity than the actual physical presence of the nutrients" is a rather void sentence. Because, from the point of view of how a cell "works", the signal is important for the basic reason that it is supposed to represent the actual real cue eliciting it.

      In the second part of Results, when the phenotype of cbf11 mutants concerning LD is mentioned, the authors said "aberrant LD content". It would be good if they can mention already at this stage which type of aberration this was: more LD? less LD? bigger? smaller?

      What is the difference between the two SE bands in Figure S2? What exactly does SE-1 and SE-2 mean?

      In Figure 2, the two graphs, presented side by side, would be more easily comparable if they could be plotted with the same y-axis scale.

      In Figure 1A, it would be useful for non-specialists of this phenotype and non-pombe readers to show a control of how it looks to be "normal".

      Referees cross-commenting

      Overall, there is a striking consensus on the need to either address experimentally or remove the emphasis put on the TOR/mitotic fidelity connection, and of clarifying the counter-intuitive notions associated to the results obtained with rapamycin. Also, the need for revisiting / improving / justifying the means by which nuclear envelope deformation is assessed has been raised at least twice. I therefore guess that the common guidelines for improving this manuscript are clearly established.

      Significance

      In view of all of the above, my feeling is that the authors have put the accent on the TOR message, which is weak, while they have less put the accent on very strong and elegant findings they do: The authors discover that the suppression of cut(-like) mutant phenotype by addition of NH4 is not due to a correction in lipid metabolism defects, suggesting that the effect is indirect. In support, cut-like mutants whose molecular defect stems from lipid-unrelated defects are also suppressed by ammonium addition. What is more, the authors refine the type of cut-like mutants susceptible of being "corrected" by ammonium addition, finding a "novel definition of cuts" that invoke a temporal rule. This important observation has relevant implications:

      • the long-standing interpretation (commented by the authors) that lipid-related cut mutants are defective because of insufficient synthesis of lipids to be able to grow their nuclear envelope membranes seems now inappropriate in light of their data;
      • this has the immediate implication that perhaps the importance of nitrogen supplementation for accurate mitosis is no longer a fact that may apply only to (yeast) organisms performing closed mitosis, which may broaden the implications of their finding substantially;
      • the nature of the temporal ruler they discover that makes defects appearing early susceptible of being suppressed by nitrogen supplementation deserves analysis in further works, thus opening an immediate perspective.
  3. Apr 2024
    1. -->

      按照文本解析格式提供翻译,德语句子 "willst du denn deinen freien Tag nicht mit uns verbringen" 可以翻译成:

      你难道不想和我们一起度过你的休息日吗?

      单词分解与翻译: - willst : 动词“wollen”的第二人称单数现在时态,意为“想要”。 - du : (你),代词,第二人称单数主格形式。 - denn : (难道),副词,常用来加强语气,表达惊讶、疑问或期待。 - deinen : (你的),形容词性物主代词,这里是“dein”的第四格形式,表示所属关系,意指“你的”。 - freien : (自由的、空闲的),形容词,这里修饰后面的名词“Tag”,表示“休息日”、“空闲的一天”。 - Tag : (天、日),名词,单数形式,这里特指休息或空闲的时间。 - nicht : (不),否定副词。 - mit : (和...一起),介词。 - uns : (我们),代词,第一人称复数宾格形式。 - verbringen : (度过、共度时光),动词,原形为“verbringen”,此处意为一起度过一段时间。

      整个句子意思是询问对方是否不愿意在休息日与说话人及其他人共同度过这一天。

    2. -->

      整体翻译: 想到爸爸独自度过他的休息日,我感到很伤心。

      单词翻译:

      • Ich:我(主格,第一人称单数代词)
      • war:是(动词sein的一般过去时第一人称单数变位,这里表示过去的状态)
      • traurig:伤心的(形容词,表示情绪低落或悲伤)
      • bei:在……时/因为(介词,这里表示某种情境或原因)
      • dem:这个(定冠词der的第三格形式,用来限定后面的名词)
      • Gedanken:想法、念头(名词,指思想或思考的内容)
      • dass:引导从句,相当于英语中的"that",在这里引出原因状语从句
      • mein:我的(形容词性物主代词,单数第一格,表示所属关系)
      • Pops:爸爸、爹地(非正式口语中的称呼,此处指父亲)
      • seinen:他的(形容词性物主代词,单数第四格,指代父亲的)
      • freien:空闲的、自由的(形容词,修饰后面的名词Tag,表示“休息日”)
      • Tag:天、日子(名词,这里特指休息日或者空闲时间)
      • ganz:完全地、整个地(副词,强调后面的动作状态)
      • allein:独自、单独(副词,表示一个人没有陪伴)
      • verbringt:度过、花费(动词verbringen的一般现在时第三人称单数变位,表示正在发生的或习惯性的动作)
    1. With the easy-to-use language of HTML, the ubiquity of TCP/IP that connected computers all over the globe and the well-understood domain name system for buying names, anyone could easily set-up their own Web site to share knowledge about any subject of their choosing, and thus the Web soon took off as the first truly decentralized system for global knowledge sharing. The Web’s decentralized nature, which allowed anyone to contribute and link to anyone else, made it a “permission-less” platform for knowledge. The decentralized innovation also applied to the core functionality of the Web as developers added new tags, such as the image tag by Netscape, and a constant stream of innovation has characterized the Web ever since its inception. Of course, it helped that CERN was committed to providing the core technology for free and the permission-less innovation was managed by a consensus-run global standards process for HTML, HTTP and URIs at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Berners-Lee’s own World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Still, the Web was not completely decentralized, as the domain name system itself, on which URIs depend, was centralized and requires the licensing of domain names — although once one has bought a single domain name one may host many different Web sites. As regards the decentralization of knowledge, the Web was viewed not as the end, but the beginning: Berners-Lee and others began hoping that eventually it would evolve into a truly universal information space for the sharing of knowledge that went beyond hypertext.

      happy beginnings...

    1. -->

      整体翻译: - Oh, ist das wieder ein wundervoller Tag.<br /> (哦,今天又是美好的一天。)

      单词分解与翻译: - Oh: (哦),这是一个感叹词,用于表达惊讶、喜悦或其他强烈的情绪。 - ist: (是),这是动词 "sein" (是) 的第三人称单数现在时态,用于表示某人的状态或存在。 - das: (这,那个),这是一个指示代词,用于指代特定的事物或概念。 - wieder: (又),这是一个副词,用于表示重复或再次发生的动作或事件。 - ein: (一个),这是一个不定冠词,用于名词之前,表示一个或多个未确定的对象。 - wundervoller: (美好的),这是一个形容词,用于形容令人愉悦或令人惊叹的事物。 - Tag: (天),这是一个名词,指一天的时间或日期。

      所以整个句子意思是:(哦,今天又是美好的一天。) 这句话表达了说话人对当前一天的积极感受,表明他们认为这是一个愉快或令人满意的日子。

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      Reply to the reviewers

      We would like to express our gratitude to the reviewers for their comments, which helped us to improve the quality of our manuscript. Below are the responses to each comment. We hope that these responses will satisfy the reviewers.

      Reviewer #1

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      Summary: The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is and RNA quality pathway that eliminates mRNAs containing premature termination codons. Its mechanism has been studied for several decades but despite enormous progress we still don't have a satisfactory model that would explain most of the published observations. In particular, the mechanism has been proposed to differ substantially between yeast and metazoa. Yeast Nmd4 protein was previously shown to be involved in NMD, to interact with UPF1 and exhibit similarities with metazoan SMG6 and SMG5/7, that are normally believed to be specific for metazoan NMD (Dehecq et al., EMBO J, 2018). Barbarin-Bocahu et al now describe the crystal structure of the complex between the yeast UPF1 RNA helicase and Nmd4. Importantly, the authors show that interaction is required for NMD activity and increases the ATPase activity of UPF1. Barbarin-Bocahu et al equally show that this interaction and its role in NMD is conserved in the human UPF1-SMG6 complex, thus providing additional novel evidence for universal conservation of the NMD mechanism in eukaryotes. The manuscript carefully combines biochemistry, biophysics with functional in vivo studies. In my opinion, all the experiments are very well executed, generally convincing and interpretations appear correct, so the manuscript is certainly suitable for publication. I have included some suggestions below that I believe could strengthen the manuscript and enhance our confidence in the findings.

      We are grateful for the useful suggestions that have enabled us to improve our manuscript.

      Major comments:*

      *Page 7 - "Since the D1353A mutation completely abolishes the enzymatic activity of SMG6 (34), this strongly suggests that the PIN domain of Nmd4 is not endowed with endonucleolytic activity. " Could/was the endonucleolytic activity of NMD4 be tested?

      We agree with this important point. Our statement is based on previous site directed mutagenesis experiments on the PIN domain of human SMG6 (Galvan et al; 2006; EMBO Journal; PMID : 17053788 / Eberle et al; 2008; Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol.; PMID : 19060897), which showed that D1353 is the critical residue of SMG6 active site involved in the endonuclease enzymatic activity. Given that in yeast Nmd4 proteins, the corresponding residue is hydrophobic (Leu112 in S. cerevisiae Nmd4 and Phe114 in Kluyveromyces lactis Nmd4) and therefore cannot participate directly in catalysis, we assume that yeast Nmd4 proteins have no endonucleolytic activity.

      Furthermore, despite decades of research in this field, no endonucleolytic activity has been described as being involved in the NMD pathway of S. cerevisiae (the model system in which the NMD mechanism was discovered in the 1970's), whereas it has been well characterized in the NMD pathway of metazoans for more than twenty years (Gatfield and Izaurralde; Nature; 2004; PMID : 15175755 / Huntzinger et al; RNA; 2008; PMID : 18974281 / Eberle et al; Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol.; 2009; PMID : 19060897 / Lykke-Andersen et al; Genes Dev.; 2014; PMID : 25403180). Our attempts to demonstrate an endonucleolytic activity of purified Nmd4 in vitro were not successful. This negative result could be due to many reasons, including loss of enzymatic activity in the tested buffer, the absence of an important cofactor or the choice of the tested RNA. For these reasons, we prefer not to include this type of negative result in the current manuscript.

      We hope that, on the basis of the above informations, the reviewer will agree that further substantial efforts to demonstrate a hypothetical endonucleolytic activity of Nmd4 are unlikely to be fruitful. Moreover, we believe that even if yeast Nmd4 turns out to behave as an endonuclease, this fact does not change the main message of the manuscript.

      Page 10 - The two proteins bind RNA with reasonable affinity. The complex binds polyU RNA with Kd of 0.44 μM . The authors suggest, based on structure superpositions, that RNA fragments bound to the PIN domain and Upf1-HD have opposite orientations. But since they have the complex ready to crystallize, did they attempt to determine the structure with of the complex with RNA? The complex is quite small (~100 kDa with RNA) but it could be even visible by cryo-EM. I don't insist that such a structure needs to be included but it might perhaps be easy to do and would surely strengthen the story. If it is too difficult, it could at least be mentioned that it was tried?

      We agree that it would be interesting to determine the crystal structure of the complex with a short RNA fragment. Unfortunately, despite extensive efforts, we could not obtain crystals of the complex in the presence of RNA. This is probably due to the large movements of the RecA2 and 1B domains relative to the RecA1 domain observed in former studies upon RNA binding to Upf1. We have mentioned that we tried to crystallize this complex in the absence or the presence of a short oligonucleotide in our revised manuscript.

      As far as single-particle cryo-EM is concerned, we are aware that recent advances in this field should make it possible to determine the structure of the Nmd4-Upf1-RNA complex, but we do not yet have the necessary expertise in this technique. Despite the interesting information that such a structure could provide, we therefore consider that this would require a very significant investment and that it is beyond the scope of this manuscript.

      I think it is important to demonstrate that the structure-based mutants don't significantly impact the overall structure of the proteins (e.g. glycine residues are mutated within helices). At least gel filtration profiles with gels of the WT and mutated proteins should be shown in SI.

      Thank you very much for highlighting this point. We fully agree that it is important to demonstrate that the Upf1 and Nmd4 mutants used in the in vitro experiments (pull-down and ATPase assays) are not affected in their overall folding. As suggested by the reviewer, we have included gel filtration chromatograms for WT and mutant proteins (Figures S2A for Upf1-HD proteins and S2B for His6-ZZ-Nmd4 proteins). These chromatograms clearly show that the different mutants behave very similarly to the WT proteins during purification, demonstrating that the overall structures of the mutants are very similar to those of the wild-type proteins. We have also included the Coomassie blue stained SDS-PAGE analysis of the proteins present in the main peak to show the purity of the final proteins.

      Perhaps the main finding of this manuscript is the conservation of the UPF1-Nmd4 interaction in human UPF1-SMG6. But the interaction is only demonstrated by co-IP with ectopically expressed human proteins in human cells that contain all the other human proteins as well. It would probably be more convincing to demonstrated the interaction in pull-downs with purified proteins as done for the yeast complex.

      Thank you for highlighting what we consider to be one of the most interesting findings presented in our manuscript. We agree that pull-down experiments using pure protein fragments expressed in E. coli would have been ideal to further confirm our co-IP results and to validate that mutations do not affect the overall structure of SMG6. Unfortunately, despite considerable efforts, we were unable to express sufficient quantities of the SMG6-[207-580] fragment or shorter versions as soluble proteins in E. coli. Indeed, Elena Conti's laboratory had the same experience according to a statement in a paper on SMG6 (Chakrabarti et al; 2014 Nucleic Acids Research; PMID: 25013172), indicating that this region protein is very difficult to work with. As we have not yet set up protein over-expression techniques in human cells or baculovirus-infected insect cells in our laboratory, we have not been able to try these expression systems to express these SMG6 domains. These are the reasons why we decided to demonstrate this interaction by co-IP experiment using ectopically expressed tagged proteins in human cells and all appropriate controls.

      In addition, using purified proteins would enable testing whether the mutations in SMG6 don't affect the overall structure of the mutants compared to the WT.

      We agree that this is an important issue. Several bioinformatics tools, including AlphaFold2 (identifier: AF-Q86US8-F1), predict that the human SMG6-[207-580] fragment is largely unstructured (see panel A of figure below). Furthermore, the pLDDT values or confidence scores for this region in the AlphaFold2 model are very low (below 50), indicating that the structure of this region is poorly predicted (see panel B of figure below). Therefore, biophysical techniques to assess that the overall structure of this fragment is not affected by the introduced mutations are very limited. However, we did not observe reduced levels of SMG6 mutants compared with WT in human cells expressing these variants (Fig. 4B and S4), so we believe that these mutants behave similarly to the wild-type fragment, as is often postulated by scientists for in cellulo studies. Furthermore, if these mutants drastically affect the overall structure of SMG6, we would expect NMD to be strongly affected, resulting in a notable accumulation of NMD RNA substrates in our in cellulo experiments when the effect of the double mutant (M2) is compared to that of the SMG6 WT protein (Fig. 4C). This was not the case. On the basis of all these elements, we assume that the overall structure of the SMG6 protein is not affected by these mutations.

      Figure for reviewing purpose : Model of the three-dimensional structure of human SMG6 protein generated by AlphaFold2.

      A. Model of human SMG6 protein (green) with the region 207-580 used in our study colored in red.

      B. Model of human SMG6 protein (green) colored according to the pLDDT values. Orange : pLDDT 90.

      Since the detected similarity to Nmd4 is only in a region covering residues 440-470, why is the tested construct much larger (207-580) including extra, large disordered regions.

      For in cellulo studies, it has previously been shown that the SMG6-[207-580] fragment is expressed as a stable protein in human cells and is responsible for the phospho-independent interaction between UPF1 and SMG6 (Chakrabarti et al; 2014; Nucleic Acids Research; PMID: 25013172). As our aim was not to reduce this SMG6 region to a shorter peptide but to conduct an amino acid-level analysis by site-directed mutagenesis, we decided to perform our experiments using the same SMG6 domain as Conti's laboratory and to mutate conserved residues on this fragment.

      Finally, the most convincing way to show and characterize the human UPF1-SMG6 interaction would be an X-ray structure. It might be feasible to crystallize human UPF1 HD domain with a SMG6 peptide. Or at least an Alphafold model could be included? I had a quick try just with the Colabfold and using the HD domain and the SMG6 peptide, Alphafold can predict convincingly the binding of the region around W456 and in some models even around R448. I think that this would strengthen the conclusions in this part of the manuscript.

      We agree that determination of the crystal structure of human UPF1 HD linked to this region of SMG6 protein interaction would have further supported our conclusions on the conservation of UPF1-Nmd4 interaction in human UPF1-SMG6. However, due to the SMG6 expression problems mentioned above, we were unable to reconstitute the human complex in vitro, which precluded crystallization assays.

      Based on this suggestion, we generated a model of human UPF1-HD bound to the 421-480 region of human SMG6 using AlphaFold2 Colabfold. Of the various models proposed (25 in total), most are very similar and show that the side chains of R448 and W456 of SMG6 bind to regions of human UPF1 corresponding to the region of the yeast protein that interacts with R210 and W216 of Nmd4. This model is consistent with our hypothesis and we have decided to include it in the revised manuscript as suggested (Fig. EV6). We thank the reviewer for this constructive comment.

      We have added the following text to mention this model : « Based on this observation, we generated a model of the complex between human UPF1-HD and the region 421-480 of SMG6 using AlphaFold2 software (1,2). In this model, the SMG6 fragment binds to the same region of UPF1-HD as the Nmd4 « arm » (Fig. EV6). In particular, the R448 and W456 side chains of SMG6 match almost perfectly with R210 and W216 side chains of S. cerevisiae Nmd4, suggesting that this conserved region from SMG6 is involved in the interaction between the SMG6 and UPF1-HD proteins. »

      Does the SMG6 addition also increases the ATPase activity of UPF1?

      This is a very good point and we agree that the results of such an experiment may have further supported our conclusions about the conservation of the Upf1-Nmd4 interaction in human UPF1-SMG6. Unfortunately, due to the SMG6 protein expression problems mentioned above, we could not perform these in vitro experiments.

      Minor comments: Examples of electron density omit maps of the key interaction interfaces should be shown in Supplementary Information for the reader to be able to judge the crystallography data quality.

      Following this suggestion, we have added two panels showing electron density omit maps of residues at the interface in Fig. S1. We hope that this will convince the reader of the quality of our crystallographic data. We have also added the following sentence to the main text : « The overall quality of the electron density map allowed us to unambiguously identify the residues of the two proteins involved in the formation of the complex (Fig. S1A-B). »

      I suggest to add the Kd values to ITC panels for clarity in main and EV figures.

      We have taken this suggestion into account for figures 2A and EV5.

      On page 10: What experiment is this referring to : "This is in agreement with our ITC experiments (carried out in the absence of a non-hydrolyzable ATP analog), which revealed no major synergistic effect between the two proteins for RNA binding." Results in EV4A? Or some other not shown data? The results in EV4A do show an increase in RNA binding when both proteins are in a complex.

      Thank you for your comment. We realize that this sentence was not clear. We refer to the ITC data for the interaction of Upf1-HD, Nmd4 or the complex with RNA (Fig. EV5A). These data show a 2.3-fold increase in the affinity of Upf1 for RNA in the presence of Nmd4, which we consider to be a notable effect but not a major one. Based on the second reviewer's comments that our comparison between Nob1 and the PIN domain of Nmd4 is not convincing, we have decided to delete this speculative section, which did not address an important point in our current study. We will address this point using more direct and sophisticated methods in future work.

      On page 16, "organsms" should be" organisms"

      Typo corrected.

      In certain figure legends the panel labels (A,B,C..) are missing (e.g. Fig 3, EV1, EV5).

      We apologize for this problem ,which was due to a conversion problem when preparing the PDF file of the submitted article. This problem has now been corrected.

      The PIN domain structure was solved only to determine the structure of the complex? I only found it mentioned in the methods and no other mention of this structure in the main text. Maybe one sentence could be added to the results to explain why this structure was solved and how it compares to the complex structure.

      We agree that we forgot to explain why we solved the structure of the PIN domain of Nmd4. The point was to help in the determination of the structure of the complex. We have added the following sentence to the main text to explain this point: « We also determined the 1.8 Å resolution crystal structure of the PIN domain of Nmd4 (residues 1 to 167) to help us determine the structure of the Nmd4/Upf1-HD complex. As this structure is virtually identical to the structure of the PIN domain of Nmd4 in the complex (rmsd of 0.5 Å over 163 C𝛼 atoms between the two structures), we will only describe the structure of this domain in the Upf1-Nmd4 complex. »

      Significance

      This is a important study, providing detailed insight into the function on Nmd4, SMG6 and UPF1 NMD. The results also point towards a conserved mechanism on NMD between yeast and human. I would like to highlight the quality of the experiments. This study will be of great interest to people working on NMD but also more broadly to scientists working on RNA, helicases and structural biologists.

      We are very grateful for the reviewer's comments about the broad interest and overall quality of our work.

      Reviewer #2

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      In this study, the authors solved the crystal structure of the UPF1 helicase domain in complex with Nmd4. Through the structure and biochemical studies, they uncovered a region responsible for Nmd4 binding to UPF1, also important for their function in NMD. In the end, the authors also extended their findings to the human SMG6, proposing a conserved mechanism for Nmd4 and SMG6.

      The mechanism of UPF1 functioning during NMD is a long-existing question. For decades, people have been trying to find out the roles of all the NMD factors during this process. This study visualized the first direct connection between UPF1 and the putative SMG6 homolog, Nmd4. Undoubtedly, it will aid our understanding of how the whole process works.

      One of the limitations of this study is the conservation between Nmd4 and SMG6. Although they both have a PIN domain, Nmd4 is inactive while SMG6 is active. During NMD, SMG6 is thought to work to cut the mRNA, thus promoting the degradation of the non-functional mRNA. Therefore, Nmd4 and SMG6 may only share a similar binding mode with UPF1, however, they do not share similar functions. This study might only apply to yeast study.

      We respectfully disagree with this comment. The role of SMG6 in NMD cannot be attributed solely to the endonuclease activity of the SMG6 PIN domain alone. Indeed, recruitment of the SMG6 PIN domain alone to an mRNA is not sufficient to destabilize it (Nicholson et al; 2014; Nucleic Acids Research; PMID: 25053839). This clearly indicates that other regions of SMG6 are critical for NMD. In our manuscript, we unveil the conservation of the Upf1-Nmd4 interaction in human UPF1-SMG6 (and probably more generally in metazoans) and show that this interaction plays a role in the optimal removal of NMD substrates. We strongly believe that our results are not only applicable to the study of yeast, but will fuel future studies in human cells aimed at describing the mechanistic details of the human NMD pathway.

      comments: the study write in a very clear way, and most of the experiments are clear and sound. I do not have any major comments. I only have a few minor comments, listed below:

      We are very grateful for the reviewer's comments about the overall quality of our manuscript and of the experimental work.

      1:The authors also solved the PIN domain of the SMG6. This is a result worth showing in the main figure.

      In our study, we did not solve the structure of the human SMG6 PIN domain. This was done by Dr. Conti's group in 2006 (Galvan et al; 2006; EMBO Journal; PMID : 17053788). This is the reason why we do not include this in the main figure. However, we have solved the crystal structure of Nmd4 PIN domain alone to help us determine the structure of the complex. Since it is very similar to the structure of the Nmd4 PIN domain in the complex with Upf1, we do not describe this structure in details. Following up the suggestion from another reviewer, we have included the following sentence mentioning that we have also determined the structure of Nmd4 PIN domain in the main text : « We also determined the 1.8 Å resolution crystal structure of the PIN domain of Nmd4 (residues 1 to 167) to help us determine the structure of the Nmd4/Upf1-HD complex. As this structure is virtually identical to the structure of the PIN domain of Nmd4 in the complex (rmsd of 0.5 Å over 163 C𝛼 atoms between the two structures), we will only describe the structure of this domain in the Upf1-Nmd4 complex. »

      2:It would be easier to read if the authors could add all the binding constants directly into the ITC panels.

      We have taken this suggestion into account for figures 2A and EV5.

      3:I am confused with His6-ZZ. Is ZZ a protein tag?

      The ZZ protein is a tag consisting of a tandem of the Z-domain from Staphylococcus aureus protein A. This domain binds to the Fc region of IgG and has been shown to improve expression levels and stability of recombinant proteins. In our case, it proved crucial to obtain mg amounts of the yeast Nmd4 protein and to enhance considerably its stability. We have added the following sentence in the « Materials and methods » section of the manuscript : « The ZZ-tag consists in a tandem of the Z-domain from Staphylococcus aureus protein A and was used as an enhancer of protein expression and stability. »

      4:The comparison between Nob1 and the PIN domain of Nmd4 is not convincing for me. Since the PIN domain is not required for the binding between Nmd4 and UPF1, the conformation of the PIN domain could be a result of the crystal packing. Thus, it is still possible that Nmd4 and UPF1 bind to the same RNA. To this end, I challenge the conclusion the authors have made on the mRNA binding part.

      We agree with your comment. Since this comparison is purely speculative and is not a major focus of our study, we decided to remove this section. We will address this point using more direct and sophisticated methods in future work aimed at elucidating this aspect.

      5: "Showing that Nmd4 stabilizes Upf1-HD on RNA in the absence of ATP and that Upf1 is the main RNA binding factor in the Nmd4/Upf1-HD complex." As mentioned above, I don't think one can make the conclusion UPF1 is the main RNA binding factor; there shouldn't be a main and minor. Meanwhile, what will happen if you add ATP in? Or AMPPNP? Or ADP?

      We agree with your comment that our current data do not allow to conclude precisely about the role of Upf1 as major RNA binding factor. We have replaced this sentence by the following one : « Whether this increase in affinity is due to a synergistic effect between both proteins or to an allosteric stimulation of one partner on the RNA binding property of the second partner remains to be clarified. ».

      Regarding the role of the nucleotides on RNA binding properties of the Upf1 helicase domain or the complex, we faced precipitation problems when mixing high concentrations Upf1 and nucleotides for ITC experiments, making difficult to determine Kd values for the interaction between Upf1 and RNA in the presence of nucleotides. However, in a previous study (Dehecq et al; 2018; EMBO J; PMID : 30275269), we observed that AMPPNP did not affect the amount of Nmd4 and Upf1-HD co-precipitated by an RNA oligonucleotide, indicating that nucleotide does not significantly affect the interaction of the complex with RNA.

      6: "But also that a physical interaction between Upf1-HD and the PIN domain exists in vitro, although we were unable to detect it using our various interaction assays." This also confused me, since one cannot detect the interaction in any assay, how could you be so confident there is a physical interaction? Have you tested assays which are good for weak binding?

      We understand that this sentence may be confusing. The tests we have used to determine whether there is a physical interaction between the PIN domain of Nmd4 and Upf1-HD are ITC and pull-down. These are excellent methods for detecting stable interactions with dissociation constants (Kd) in the nanomolar to tens of micromolar range. These two methods did not indicate any direct interaction between the PIN domain of Nmd4 and Upf1-HD. However, we observed that the PIN domain of Nmd4 stimulates the ATPase activity of Upf1-HD to the same extent as the « arm » of Nmd4. This is an indirect indication that the Nmd4 PIN may interact with Upf1-HD, otherwise a stimulatory effect would not be expected. Our radioactivity-based ATPase assay is very sensitive, allowing the detection of a stimulatory effect due to a transient interaction between the PIN domain of Nmd4 and Upf1-HD, which, as indicated above, could not be detected with the interaction assays used. We would also like to point out that in our ATPase conditions, Upf1-HD (0.156 µM) is incubated with a 20-fold molar excess (3.12 µM) of its partners (Nmd4-FL, Nmd4 « arm » or Nmd4 PIN). Such an excess cannot be used in our interaction tests. This could explain the stimulatory effect detected for the PIN domain of Nmd4 in our ATPase assay.

      We have clarified this section by adding the following sentences: « We were unable to detect such an interaction using our different interaction assays (pull-down and ITC), which are optimal for studying interactions with dissociation constants (Kd) in the nanoM to tens of microM range. We therefore assume that a transient low-affinity interaction (high Kd value not detected by our binding assays) exists between Upf1-HD and PIN Nmd4 and can only be detected by highly sensitive assays such as our radioactivity-based ATPase assay, which was performed with a 20-fold molar excess of PIN Nmd4 domain over Upf1-HD. »

      7: Figure 4B should be done in the context of the full length of SMG6 and UPF1.

      **Referees cross-commenting**

      *This session contains comments from both Rev1 and Rev2*

      Rev1:

      There seems to be a contradiction in comments on Figure 4B. I agree with Reviewer 2 that using FL proteins will be informative to see whether the FL proteins indeed interact (or not in the case of the mutants).

      If one wants to use this experiment to map the interacting regions, then I think that the UPF1 HD domain and the short conserved region of SMG6 should be used. The long fragment SMG6 207-580 is not ideal for either. The short constructs would be more suited for a pull-down experiments (like done for the yeast proteins).

      Rev2

      Response to reviewer #1, It is necessary to use the full-length protein (FL protein) to map the interface unless they have pre-existing information to support mapping down to short fragments.

      In addition, performing further structural work would be beyond the scope of this study. Given the additional time and effort required, I do not recommend doing so for this study.

      Rev1:

      As I said, I agree with using the FL proteins. The pre-existing information supporting the mapping comes from sequence alignments with the yeast structure and the mutagenesis. This is further confirmed by Alphafold modeling which in my opinion should be included. As I mentioned in my review, I don't insist on further structural work

      Thank you very much for this comment and the discussions between reviewers, which show that we didn't explain our experimental strategy clearly. Human UPF1 has been shown to interact with SMG6 in both phospho-dependent and phospho-independent modes. In our manuscript, we focus on characterizing the phospho-independent interaction. For this reason, we cannot perform this experiment using the full-length version of SMG6 and UPF1, otherwise the effects of our point mutants on the UPF1-SMG6 interaction could be masked by the phospho-dependent interaction occurring between domain 14.3.3 of SMG6 and the C-terminus of Upf1. To circumvent this problem, we were inspired by former in cellulo studies, which have shown that the SMG6-[207-580] fragment is expressed as a stable protein in human cells and is responsible for the phospho-independent interaction between UPF1 and SMG6 (Chakrabarti et al; 2014; Nucleic Acids Research; PMID: 25013172). Similarly, the helicase domain of UPF1 was found to be sufficient for this phospho-independent interaction with human SMG6 (Nicholson et al; 2014; Nucleic Acids Research; PMID: 25053839). These are the reasons why we decided to use this protein domains in our in cellulo studies to test the effect of our point mutants on the interaction. As indicated above in an answer to one comment to reviewer #1, as our aim was not to reduce this SMG6 region to a shorter peptide but to conduct an amino acid-level analysis by site-directed mutagenesis, this is also why we decided to perform our experiments using the same SMG6 domain as Conti's laboratory and to mutate conserved residues on this fragment. We have also included the AlphaFold2 model of the complex between human UPF1 and SMG6 in our revised version.

      To clarify this point, we have amended the relevant section as follows: « To determine whether this motif might be involved in the interaction between SMG6 and UPF1-HD proteins, we ectopically expressed the region comprising residues 207-580 of human SMG6 fused to a C-terminal HA tag (SMG6-[207-580]-HA) and human UPF1-HD (residues 295-921 fused to a C-terminal Flag tag; UPF1-HD-Flag) in human HEK293T cells, as these regions have previously been shown to be responsible for the phosphorylation-independent interaction between these two proteins. Compared to the full-length UPF1 and SMG6 proteins, these constructs also preclude our findings of any interference from the phosphorylation-dependent interaction occurring between the C-terminus of UPF1 and the 14-3-3 domain of SMG6. »

      8: "The NMD mechanism not only targets mRNAs but also small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) harboring bona fide stop codons but in a specific context such as short upstream open reading frame (uORF), long 3'-UTRs, low translational efficiency or exon-exon junction located downstream of a stop codon." "First, for mRNAs with long 3'-UTRs, the 3'-faux UTR model posits that a long 3 spatial distance between a stop codon and the mRNA poly(A) tail destabilizes NMD substrates by preventing the interaction between the eRF1-eRF3 translation termination complex bound to the A- site of a ribosome recognizing a stop codon and the poly(A)-binding protein (Pab1 or PABP in S. cerevisiae and human, respectively)." These are difficult to read.

      Thank you for this suggestion to improve the clarity of our manuscript. We have tried to make these sentences easier to read as follow:

      « The NMD mechanism also targets mRNAs, small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) carrying normal stop codons located in a specific context (short upstream open reading frame or uORF, long 3'-UTRs, low translational efficiency or exon-exon junction located downstream of a stop codon (3-11)). »

      « The first model, the 3'-faux UTR model posits that for mRNAs with long 3'-UTRs, a long spatial distance between a stop codon and the mRNA poly(A) tail destabilizes NMD substrates. Indeed, it would prevent the physical interaction between the eRF1-eRF3 translation termination complex recognizing a stop codon in the A-site of the ribosome and the poly(A)-binding protein (Pab1 or PABP in S. cerevisiae and human, respectively) bound to the 3' poly(A) tail (12-14). »

      9: please add the Ramachandran plot values.

      Thank you for pointing out this omission. These values have been included in Table EV1.

      __Significance __

      NMD is one of the major topics in the field of gene translational regulation research. this study will be of interest to a broad audience. i am an expert in the structure study in translation. However, I have limited experience in the in vivo study of NMD substrates.

      We are very grateful for the reviewer's comments about the broad interest and the overall quality of our work.

    2. Note: This preprint has been reviewed by subject experts for Review Commons. Content has not been altered except for formatting.

      Learn more at Review Commons


      Referee #2

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      In this study, the authors solved the crystal structure of the UPF1 helicase domain in complex with Nmd4. Through the structure and biochemical studies, they uncovered a region responsible for Nmd4 binding to UPF1, also important for their function in NMD. In the end, the authors also extended their findings to the human SMG6, proposing a conserved mechanism for Nmd4 and SMG6.

      The mechanism of UPF1 functioning during NMD is a long-existing question. For decades, people have been trying to find out the roles of all the NMD factors during this process. This study visualized the first direct connection between UPF1 and the putative SMG6 homolog, Nmd4. Undoubtedly, it will aid our understanding of how the whole process works.

      One of the limitations of this study is the conservation between Nmd4 and SMG6. Although they both have a PIN domain, Nmd4 is inactive while SMG6 is active. During NMD, SMG6 is thought to work to cut the mRNA, thus promoting the degradation of the non-functional mRNA. Therefore, Nmd4 and SMG6 may only share a similar binding mode with UPF1, however, they do not share similar functions. This study might only apply to yeast study.

      comments: the study write in a very clear way, and most of the experiments are clear and sound. I do not have any major comments. I only have a few minor comments, listed below:

      1:The authors also solved the PIN domain of the SMG6. This is a result worth showing in the main figure.

      2:It would be easier to read if the authors could add all the binding constants directly into the ITC panels.

      3:I am confused with His6-ZZ. Is ZZ a protein tag?

      4:The comparison between Nob1 and the PIN domain of Nmd4 is not convincing for me. Since the PIN domain is not required for the binding between Nmd4 and UPF1, the conformation of the PIN domain could be a result of the crystal packing. Thus, it is still possible that Nmd4 and UPF1 bind to the same RNA. To this end, I challenge the conclusion the authors have made on the mRNA binding part.

      5: "Showing that Nmd4 stabilizes Upf1-HD on RNA in the absence of ATP and that Upf1 is the main RNA binding factor in the Nmd4/Upf1-HD complex." As mentioned above, I don't think one can make the conclusion UPF1 is the main RNA binding factor; there shouldn't be a main and minor. Meanwhile, what will happen if you add ATP in? Or AMPPNP? Or ADP?

      6: "But also that a physical interaction between Upf1-HD and the PIN domain exists in vitro, although we were unable to detect it using our various interaction assays." This also confused me, since one cannot detect the interaction in any assay, how could you be so confident there is a physical interaction? Have you tested assays which are good for weak binding?

      7: Figure 4B should be done in the context of the full length of SMG6 and UPF1.

      8: "The NMD mechanism not only targets mRNAs but also small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) harboring bona fide stop codons but in a specific context such as short upstream open reading frame (uORF), long 3'-UTRs, low translational efficiency or exon-exon junction located downstream of a stop codon." "First, for mRNAs with long 3'-UTRs, the 3'-faux UTR model posits that a long 3 spatial distance between a stop codon and the mRNA poly(A) tail destabilizes NMD substrates by preventing the interaction between the eRF1-eRF3 translation termination complex bound to the A- site of a ribosome recognizing a stop codon and the poly(A)-binding protein (Pab1 or PABP in S. cerevisiae and human, respectively)." These are difficult to read.

      9: please add the Ramachandran plot values.

      Significance

      NMD is one of the major topics in the field of gene translational regulation research. this study will be of interest to a broad audience. i am an expert in the structure study in translation. However, I have limited experience in the in vivo study of NMD substrates.

    1. We quote because we are afraid to-change words, lest there be a change in meaning.

      Quotations are easier to collect than writing things out in one's own words, not only because it requires no work, but we may be afraid of changing the original meaning by changing the original words or by collapsing the context and divorcing the words from their original environment.

      Perhaps some may be afraid that the words sound "right" and they have a sense of understanding of them, but they don't quite have a full grasp of the situation. Of course this may be remedied by the reader or listener not only by putting heard stories into their own words and providing additional concrete illustrative examples of the concepts. These exercises are meant to ensure that one has properly heard/read and understood a concept. Psychologists call this paraphrasing or repetition the "echo effect" (others might say parroting or mirroring) and have found that it can help to build understanding, connection, and likeability between people. Great leaders who do this will be sure to make sure that credit for the original ideas goes to the originator and not to themselves simply because they repeated it, especially in group settings where their words may have more primacy amidst their underlings.

      (I can't find it at the moment, but there's a name/tag for this in my notes? looping?)

      Beyond this, can one place the idea into a more clear language than the original? Add some poetry perhaps? Make the concept into a concrete meme to make it more memorable?

      Journalists like to quote because it gives primacy of voice to the speaker and provides the reader with the sense that they're getting the original from which they might make up their own minds. It also provides a veneer of vérité to their reportage.

      Link this back to Terrence's comedy: https://hypothes.is/a/xe15ZKPGEe6NJkeL77Ji4Q

    2. what little indexing is attempted can only 14be described as an unsystematic effort. The catchword methodof the catalogue has been bodily transplanted to indexing,which makes it very difficult to control our indexed informationproperly, and limits our supply of information to that whichwill fall in with the catchword method

      Catchwords (broad or even narrow topics) can be useful, but one should expand beyond these short words to full phrases or even sentences/paragraphs which contain atomic (or perhaps molecular) ideas that can be linked.

      We could reframe the atomic as simple catchwords, and make molecular ideas combinations of these smaller atoms which form larger and fuller thoughts which can be linked and remixed with others.

      Dennis Duncan (2022) touches on this in his book on Indexing when he looks at indexes which contained portions of their fuller text which were later removed and thereby collapsing context. Having these pieces added back in gave a fuller picture of ideas within an index. Connect this idea with his historical examples.

      Great indexes go beyond the catchword to incorporate full ideas with additional context. To some extent this is what Luhmann was doing at larger scale compared to his commonplacing brethren who were operating far more closely to the catchword (tag) level. (Fortunately they held the context in their heads and were thus able to overcome some of the otherwise inherent problems.)

      The development of all of this historically seems to follow the principle of small pieces loosely joined.

    1. Author Response

      The following is the authors’ response to the original reviews.

      eLife assessment

      This study, utilizing CITE-Seq to explore CML, is considered a useful contribution to our understanding of treatment response. However, the reviewers express concern about the incomplete evidence due to the small sample size and recommend addressing these limitations. Strengthening the study with additional patient samples and validation measures would enhance its significance.

      We thank the editors for the assessment of our manuscript. In view of the comments of the three reviewers, we have increased the number of CML patient samples analyzed to confirm all the major findings included in the manuscript. In total, more than 80 patient samples across different approaches have now been analyzed and incorporated in the revised manuscript.

      To the best of our knowledge, this is the first single cell multiomics report in CML and differs substantially from the recent single cell omics-based reports where single modalities were measured one at a time (Krishnan et al., 2023; Patel et al., 2022). Thus, the sc-multiomic investigation of LSCs and HSCs from the same patient addresses a major gap in the field towards managing efficacy and toxicity of TKI treatment by enumerating CD26+CD35- LSCs and CD26-CD35+ HSCs burden and their ratio at diagnosis vs. 3 months of therapy. The findings suggest design of a simpler and cheaper FACS assay to simultaneously stratify CML patients for TKI efficacy as well as hematologic toxicity.

      Reviewer 1:

      Summary:

      This manuscript by Warfvinge et al. reports the results of CITE-seq to generate singlecell multi-omics maps from BM CD34+ and CD34+CD38- cells from nine CML patients at diagnosis. Patients were retrospectively stratified by molecular response after 12 months of TKI therapy using European Leukemia Net (ELN) recommendations. They demonstrate heterogeneity of stem and progenitor cell composition at diagnosis, and show that compared to optimal responders, patients with treatment failure after 12 months of therapy demonstrate increased frequency of molecularly defined primitive cells at diagnosis. These results were validated by deconvolution of an independent previously published dataset of bulk transcriptomes from 59 CML patients. They further applied a BCR-ABL-associated gene signature to classify primitive Lin-CD34+CD38- stem cells as BCR:ABL+ and BCR:ABL-. They identified variability in the ratio of leukemic to non-leukemic primitive cells between patients, showed differences in the expression of cell surface markers, and determined that a combination of CD26 and CD35 cell surface markers could be used to prospectively isolate the two populations. The relative proportion of CD26-CD35+ (BCR:ABL-) primitive stem cells was higher in optimal responders compared to treatment failures, both at diagnosis and following 3 months of TKI therapy.

      Strengths:

      The studies are carefully conducted and the results are very clearly presented. The data generated will be a valuable resource for further studies. The strengths of this study are the application of single-cell multi-omics using CITE-Seq to study individual variations in stem and progenitor clusters at diagnosis that are associated with good versus poor outcomes in response to TKI treatment. These results were confirmed by deconvolution of a historical bulk RNAseq data set. Moreover, they are also consistent with a recent report from Krishnan et al. and are a useful confirmation of those results. The major new contribution of this study is the use of gene expression profiles to distinguish BCRABL+ and BCR-ABL- populations within CML primitive stem cell clusters and then applying antibody-derived tag (ADT) data to define molecularly identified BCR:ABL+ and BCR-ABL- primitive cells by expression of surface markers. This approach allowed them to show an association between the ratio of BCR-ABL+ vs BCR-ABL- primitive cells and TKI response and study dynamic changes in these populations following short-term TKI treatment.

      Weaknesses:

      One of the limitations of the study is the small number of samples employed, which is insufficient to make associations with outcomes with confidence. Although the authors discuss the potential heterogeneity of primitive stem, they do not directly address the heterogeneity of hematopoietic potential or response to TKI treatment in the results presented. Another limitation is that the BCR-ABL + versus BCR-ABL- status of cells was not confirmed by direct sequencing for BCR-ABL. The BCR-ABL status of cells sorted based on CD26 and CD35 was evaluated in only two samples. We also note that the surface markers identified were previously reported by the same authors using different single-cell approaches, which limits the novelty of the findings. It will be important to determine whether the GEP and surface markers identified here are able to distinguish BCR-ABL+ and BCR-ABL- primitive stem cells later in the course of TKI treatment. Finally, although the authors do describe differential gene expression between CML and normal, BCR:ABL+ and BCR:ABL-, primitive stem cells they have not as yet taken the opportunity to use these findings to address questions regarding biological mechanisms related to CML LSC that impact on TKI response and outcomes.

      Reviewer #1 (Recommendations For The Authors):

      Minor comment: Fig 4 legend -E and F should be C and D.

      We thank the reviewer for positive assessment of our work. Here, we highlight the updates in the revised manuscript considering the feedback received.

      Minor comment: Fig 4 legend -E and F should be C and D.

      We have edited the revised manuscript accordingly

      One of the limitations of the study is the small number of samples employed, which is insufficient to make associations with outcomes with confidence.

      Although we performed CITE-seq for 9 CML patient samples at diagnosis, we extended our investigations to include additional samples (e.g., largescale deconvolution analysis of samples, Fig 3 C-E, qPCR for BCR::ABL1 status, Fig. 6A, and the ratio between CD35+ and CD26+ populations at diagnosis and during TKI therapy, Fig. 6C-D) as described in the manuscript.

      In comparison to a scRNA-seq, multiomic CITE-seq involves preparation and sequencing of separate libraries corresponding to RNA and ADTs thereby being even more resource demanding limiting our capacity to process an extensive number of patient samples. To confirm our findings in a larger cohort we have therefore adopted a computational deconvolution approach, CIBERSORT to analyze a larger number of independent samples (n=59). This reflects a growing, sustainable trend to study larger number of patients in face of still prohibitively expensive but potentially insightful scomics approaches (For example, please see Zeng et al, A cellular hierarchy framework for understanding heterogeneity and predicting drug response in acute myeloid leukemia, Nature Medicine, 2022).

      However, in view of the comment, we have now substantially increased the number of analyzed patients in the revised manuscript. These include increased number of patient samples to investigate the ratio between CD35 and CD26 marked populations at diagnosis, and 3 months of TKI therapy (from n=8 to n=12 with now 6 optimal responders and 5 treatment failure at diagnosis and after TKI therapy), qPCR for BCR::ABL1 expression status at diagnosis (from n=3 to n=9) , and followed up the BCR::ABL1 expression in three additional samples after TKI therapy. Moreover, we examined the CD26 and CD35 marked populations for expression of GAS2, one of our top candidate LSC signature genes in three additional samples at diagnosis and at 3m follow up. Thus, >80 patient samples across different approaches have been analyzed to strengthen all major conclusions of the study.

      We emphasize that we were cautious in generalizing the observation obtained from any one approach and sought to confirm any major finding using at least one complementary method. As an example, although CITE-seq (n=9) showed altered frequency of all cell clusters between optimal and poor responders (Fig. 3B), we refrained from generalizing because our independent large-scale computational deconvolution analysis (n=59) only substantiated the altered proportion of primitive and myeloid cell clusters (Fig. 3E).

      Although the authors discuss the potential heterogeneity of primitive stem, they do not directly address the heterogeneity of hematopoietic potential or response to TKI treatment in the results presented.

      Thanks for noting the discussion on heterogeneity of the primitive stem cells. As described in the original manuscript, the figure 6 D-E showed a relationship between heterogeneity and TKI therapy response. The results showed that CD35+/CD26+ ratio within the HSC fraction associated with this therapy response. We have now increased the number of patient samples analyzed and present the updated results in the revised manuscript (now figure 6 C-D). These observations set the stage for assessing whether long term therapy outcome can also be influenced by heterogeneity at diagnosis.

      We have shown the hematopoietic potential of HSCs marked by CD35 expression in an independent parallel study and therefore only mentioned it concisely in the current manuscript. A combination of scRNA-seq, scATAC-seq and cell surface proteomics showed CD35+ cells at the apex of healthy human hematopoiesis, containing an HSCspecific epigenetic signature and molecular program, as well as possessing self-renewal capacity and multilineage reconstitution in vivo and vitro. The preprint is available as Sommarin et al. ‘Single-cell multiomics reveals distinct cell states at the top of the human hematopoietic hierarchy’, Biorxiv; https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.01.437998v2.full

      We also note that the surface markers identified were previously reported by the same authors using different single-cell approaches, which limits the novelty of the findings.

      Our current manuscript is indeed a continuation of and builds onto our previous paper (Warfvinge R et al. Blood, 2017). In contrast to our previous report which was limited to examination of only 96 genes per cell, CITE-seq allowed us to examine the molecular program of cells using unbiased global gene expression profiling. Finally, although CD26 appears, once again as a reliable marker of BCR::ABL1+ primitive cells, CD35 emerges as a novel and previously undescribed marker of BCR::ABL1- residual stem cells. A combination of CD35 and CD26 allowed us to efficiently distinguish between the two populations housed within the Lin-34+38/low stem cell immunophenotype.

      Another limitation is that the BCR-ABL + versus BCR-ABL- status of cells was not confirmed by direct sequencing for BCR-ABL. The BCR-ABL status of cells sorted based on CD26 and CD35 was evaluated in only two samples

      Single cell detection of fusion transcripts is challenging with low detection sensitivity in single cell RNA-seq as has been noted previously (Krishnan et al. Blood, 2023, Giustacchini et al. Nature Medicine, 2017, Rodriguez-Meira et al. Molecular Cell, 2019). However, this is likely to change with the inclusion of targetspecific probes in scRNA-seq library preparation protocols. Nonetheless, in view of the comment, we have included more patient samples (from the previous n=3 to current n=10 (including TKI treated samples) for direct assessment of BCR-ABL1 status by qPCR analysis; the updated results are included in the revised manuscript (Figure 6A).

      It will be important to determine whether the GEP and surface markers identified here are able to distinguish BCR-ABL+ and BCR-ABL- primitive stem cells later in the course of TKI treatment.

      We performed qPCR to check for BCR::ABL1 status, and the level of GAS2, one of the top genes expressed in CML cells within CD26+ and CD35+ cells at diagnosis and following 3 months of TKI therapy. The results showed that while CD26+ are BCR::ABL1+, the CD35+ cells are BCR::ABL1- at both time points. Moreover, the expression of LSC-specific gene, GAS2 was specific to BCR::ABL1+ CD26+ cells at both diagnosis as well as following 3 months of TKI therapy. The new results are presented in figure 6B in the revised manuscript.

      Finally, although the authors do describe differential gene expression between CML and normal, BCR:ABL+ and BCR:ABL-, primitive stem cells they have not as yet taken the opportunity to use these findings to address questions regarding biological mechanisms related to CML LSC that impact on TKI response and outcomes.

      We agree with the reviewer that our major focus here was to characterize the cellular heterogeneity coupled to treatment outcome and therefore we did not delve deep into the molecular mechanisms underlying TKI response. However, in response to this comment, as mentioned above, we noted that one of the top genes in BCR::ABL1 cells (Fig. 4 C; right; in red), GAS2 (Growth Specific Arrest 2) was expressed at both diagnosis and TKI therapy within CD26+ cells relative to CD35+ cells (updated figure 6B). Interestingly, GAS2 was also detected in CML LSCs in a recent scRNA-seq study (Krishnan et al. Blood, 2023) suggesting GAS2 upregulation could be a consistent molecular feature of CML cells. GAS2 has been previously noted as deregulated in CML (Janssen JJ et al. Leukemia, 2005, Radich J et al, PNAS, 2006), control of cell cycle, apoptosis, and response to Imatinib (Zhou et al. PLoS One, 2014). Future investigations are warranted to assess whether GAS2 could play a role in the outcome of long-term TKI therapy.

      Reviewer 2:

      Summary:

      The authors use single-cell "multi-comics" to study clonal heterogeneity in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and its impact on treatment response and resistance. Their main results suggest 1) Cell compartments and gene expression signatures both shared in CML cells (versus normal), yet 2) some heterogeneity of multiomic mapping correlated with ELN treatment response; 3) further definition of s unique combination of CD26 and CD35 surface markers associated with gene expression defined BCR::ABL1+ LSCs and BCR::ABL1- HSCs. The manuscript is well-written, and the method and figures are clear and informative. The results fit the expanding view of cancer and its therapy as a complex Darwinian exercise of clonal heterogeneity and the selective pressures of treatments.

      Strengths:

      Cutting-edge technology by one of the expert groups of single-cell 'comics.

      Weaknesses:

      Very small sample sizes, without a validation set. The obvious main problem with the study is that an enormous amount of results and conjecture arise from a very small data set: only nine cases for the treatment response section (three in each of the ELN categories), only two normal marrows, and only two patient cases for the division kinetic studies. Thus, it is very difficult to know the "noise" in the system - the stability of clusters and gene expression and the normal variation one might expect, versus patterns that may be reproducibly study artifact, effects of gene expression from freezing-thawing, time on the bench, antibody labeling, etc. This is not so much a criticism as a statement of reality: these elegant experiments are difficult, timeconsuming, and very expensive. Thus in the Discussion, it would be helpful for the authors to just frankly lay out these limitations for the reader to consider. Also in the Discussion, it would be interesting for the authors to consider what's next: what type of validation would be needed to make these studies translatable to the clinic? Is there a clever way to use these data to design a faster/cheaper assay?

      We thank the reviewer for appraisal of our manuscript. We take the opportunity to point out the updates in the revised manuscript in view of the comments.

      Very small sample sizes, without a validation set. The obvious main problem with the study is that an enormous amount of results and conjecture arise from a very small data set: only nine cases for the treatment response section (three in each of the ELN categories), only two normal marrows, and only two patient cases for the division kinetic studies.

      As the reviewer has noted the single cell omics experiments remain resource demanding thereby placing a limitation on the number of patients analyzed. As described above in response to the comments from reviewer 1, multiomic CITE-seq allows extraction of two modalities in comparison to a typical scRNA-seq, however, this also makes it even more limited in the number of samples processed in a sustainable way. This was one of the motivations to analyze a larger number of independent samples (n=59) while benefiting from the insights gained from CITE-seq (n=9). Furthermore, by analyzing CD34+ cells from bone marrow and peripheral blood of CML patients, including both responders and non-responders after one year of Imatinib therapy, we were able to significantly diversity the patient pool, which was lacking in our CITE-seq patient pool. As mentioned above, this reflects a growing trend to analyze larger number of patients while anchoring the analysis on prohibitively expensive but potentially insightful sc-omics approaches (For example, please see Zeng et al, A cellular hierarchy framework for understanding heterogeneity and predicting drug response in acute myeloid leukemia, Nature Medicine, 2022).

      As emphasized above, we frequently sought to confirm the findings from one approach using a complementary method and independent samples. For example, although CITE-seq (n=9) showed altered frequency of all cell clusters between optimal and poor responders (Fig. 3B), we refrained from generalizing because an independent largescale computational deconvolution analysis (n=59) only substantiated the altered proportion of primitive and myeloid clusters.

      In view of the comment, we have now increased the number of patients analyzed during the revision process. These include increased numbers to investigate the ratio between CD35+ and CD26+ populations at diagnosis, as well as 3 months of TKI therapy, qPCR for BCR::ABL1, and patients examined for GAS2, one of the top genes expressed in CML cells (see response to reviewer 1 for details). Altogether, >80 patient samples across different approaches were analyzed to strengthen the conclusions.

      During the revision, we have analyzed cells from 8 CML patients for cell cycle using gene activity scores. This is in addition to the cell division kinetics data reported previously are now together described in the supplementary figures 9C-F.

      It is very difficult to know the "noise" in the system - the stability of clusters and gene expression and the normal variation one might expect, versus patterns that may be reproducibly study artifact, effects of gene expression from freezing-thawing, time on the bench, antibody labeling, etc. This is not so much a criticism as a statement of reality: these elegant experiments are difficult, time-consuming, and very expensive. Thus in the Discussion, it would be helpful for the authors to just frankly lay out these limitations for the reader to consider.

      We agree with the reviewer that sc-omics approaches can be noisy despite continuing efforts to denoise single cell datasets through both experimental and bioinformatic innovations. Therefore, we have updated the discussion as recommended by the reviewer (paragraph 5 in the discussion).

      We also note that CITE-seq, in contrast to scRNA-seq alone provides dual features: surface marker/protein as well as RNA for annotating the same cluster. In our manuscript, for example, cell clusters in UMAP for normal BM; Fig 1B were described using both surface markers (Fig. 1C) and RNA (Fig. 1D) making the cluster identity robust. To further elaborate this approach, a new supplementary figure 1C shows annotations of clusters using both RNA and surface markers.

      To potentially address the issue of stability of clusters and gene expression, we compared the marker genes for major clusters from nBM from this study (supplementary table 4, Warfvinge et al.) with those described recently in a scRNA-seq study by Krishnan et al. supplementary table 8, Blood, 2023 using Cell Radar, a tool that identifies and visualizes which hematopoietic cell types are enriched within a given gene set (description: https://github.com/KarlssonG/cellradar

      Direct link: https://karlssong.github.io/cellradar/). To compare, we used our in-house gene list for the major clusters as well as mapped the same number of top marker genes based on log2FC from corresponding cluster from Krishnan et al. as inputs to Cell Radar. The Cell Radar plot outputs are shown below.

      Author response image 1.

      This approach showed broad similarities across clusters from this study with their counterparts from the other study suggesting the cluster identities reported here are likely to be robust. Please note these figures are for reviewer response only and not included in the final manuscript.

      Also in the Discussion, it would be interesting for the authors to consider what's next: what type of validation would be needed to make these studies translatable to the clinic? Is there a clever way to use these data to design a faster/cheaper assay?

      Our findings on CD26+ and CD35+ surface markers to enrich BCR::ABL1+ and BCR::ABL1- cells suggest a simpler, faster and cheaper FACS panel can possibly quantify leukemic and non-leukemic stem cells in CML patients. We anticipate that future investigations, clinical studies might examine whether CD26CD35+ cells could be plausible candidates for restoring normal hematopoiesis once the TKI therapy diminishes the leukemic load, and whether patients with low counts of CD35+ cells at diagnosis have a relatively higher chance of developing hematologic toxicity such as cytopenia during therapy.

      We briefly mentioned this possibility in the discussion; however, we have now moved it to another paragraph to highlight the same. Please see paragraph 5 in the revised manuscript.

      Reviewer 3:

      Summary:

      In this study, Warfvinge and colleagues use CITE-seq to interrogate how CML stem cells change between diagnosis and after one year of TKI therapy. This provides important insight into why some CML patients are "optimal responders" to TKI therapy while others experience treatment failure. CITE-seq in CML patients revealed several important findings. First, substantial cellular heterogeneity was observed at diagnosis, suggesting that this is a hallmark of CML. Further, patients who experienced treatment failure demonstrated increased numbers of primitive cells at diagnosis compared to optimal responders. This finding was validated in a bulk gene expression dataset from 59 CML patients, in which it was shown that the proportion of primitive cells versus lineage-primed cells correlates to treatment outcome. Even more importantly, because CITE-seq quantifies cell surface protein in addition to gene expression data, the authors were able to identify that BCR/ABL+ and BCR/ABL- CML stem cells express distinct cell surface markers (CD26+/CD35- and CD26-/CD35+, respectively). In optimal responders, BCR/ABL- CD26-/CD35+ CML stem cells were predominant, while the opposite was true in patients with treatment failure. Together, these findings represent a critical step forward for the CML field and may allow more informed development of CML therapies, as well as the ability to predict patient outcomes prior to treatment.

      Strengths:

      This is an important, beautifully written, well-referenced study that represents a fundamental advance in the CML field. The data are clean and compelling, demonstrating convincingly that optimal responders and patients with treatment failure display significant differences in the proportion of primitive cells at diagnosis, and the ratio of BCR-ABL+ versus negative LSCs. The finding that BCR/ABL+ versus negative LSCs display distinct surface markers is also key and will allow for a more detailed interrogation of these cell populations at a molecular level.

      Weaknesses:

      CITE-seq was performed in only 9 CML patient samples and 2 healthy donors. Additional samples would greatly strengthen the very interesting and notable findings.

      Reviewer #3 (Recommendations For The Authors):

      My only recommendation is to bolster findings with additional CML and healthy donor samples.

      CITE-seq was performed in only 9 CML patient samples and 2 healthy donors. Additional samples would greatly strengthen the very interesting and notable findings.

      We thank the reviewer for the positive assessment of our manuscript. As mentioned in response to comments from reviewer 1 and 2, CITE-seq remains an reource consuming single cell method potentially limiting the number of patients to be analyzed. However, during the revision process, we have increased the number of patient material analyzed for other assays; these include increased number to investigate the ratio between CD35+ and CD26+ populations at diagnosis, and 3 months of TKI therapy, qPCR for BCR::ABL1, and patients examined for GAS2, one of the top genes expressed in CML cells. Thus, >80 patient samples across different assays have been analyzed to strengthen the conclusions. (Please see comment to reviewer 1 for more details)

    2. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      This manuscript by Warfvinge et al. reports the results of CITE-seq to generate single-cell multi-omics maps from BM CD34+ and CD34+CD38- cells from nine CML patients at diagnosis. Patients were retrospectively stratified by molecular response after 12 months of TKI therapy using European Leukemia Net (ELN) recommendations. They demonstrate heterogeneity of stem and progenitor cell composition at diagnosis, and show that compared to optimal responders, patients with treatment failure after 12 months of therapy demonstrate increased frequency of molecularly defined primitive cells at diagnosis. These results were validated by deconvolution of an independent previously published dataset of bulk transcriptomes from 59 CML patients. They further applied a BCR-ABL-associated gene signature to classify primitive Lin-CD34+CD38- stem cells as BCR:ABL+ and BCR:ABL-. They identified variability in the ratio of leukemic to non-leukemic primitive cells between patients, showed differences in expression of cell surface markers and determined that a combination of CD26 and CD35 cell surface markers could be used to prospectively isolate the two populations. The relative proportion of CD26-CD35+ (BCR:ABL-) primitive stem cells was higher in optimal responders compared to treatment failures, both at diagnosis and following 3 months of TKI therapy.

      Strengths:

      The studies are carefully conducted and the results are very clearly presented. The data generated will be a valuable resource for further studies. The strengths of this study are the application of single-cell multi-omics using CITE-Seq to study individual variations in stem and progenitor clusters at diagnosis that are associated with good versus poor outcomes in response to TKI treatment. These results were confirmed by deconvolution of a historical bulk RNAseq data set. Moreover, they are also consistent with a recent report from Krishnan et al. and are a useful confirmation of those results. The major new contribution of this study is the use of gene expression profiles to distinguish BCR-ABL+ and BCR-ABL- populations within CML primitive stem cell clusters and then applying antibody-derived tag (ADT) data to define molecularly identified BCR:ABL+ and BCR-ABL- primitive cells by expression of surface markers. This approach allowed them to show an association between the ratio of BCR-ABL+ vs BCR-ABL- primitive cells and TKI response and study dynamic changes in these populations following short-term TKI treatment.

      Weaknesses:

      The number of samples studied by CITE-Seq is limited. However, the authors have confirmed their key observations in additional samples. The BCR-ABL+ versus BCR-ABL- status of cells was not confirmed by direct sequencing for BCR-ABL. However, we recognize that the methodologies to perform these analyses on single cells is still evolving and the authors have shown that CD26 and CD35 expression can consistently identify BCR-ABL+ versus BCR-ABL- cells. It will be of interest to learn whether the GEP and surface markers identified here can distinguish BCR-ABL+ primitive stem cells later in the course of TKI treatment.

    1. Note: This response was posted by the corresponding author to Review Commons. The content has not been altered except for formatting.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      1. Point-by-point description of the revisions

      Reviewer #1:

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required):

      In this manuscript Czajkowski et al explore the role of the doublecortin-family kinase ZYG-8 during meiosis in C. elegans Oocytes. First by studying available temperature-sensitive mutants and then by generating their own strain expressing ZYG-8 amenable to auxin-inducible degradation, they establish that defects in ZYG-8 lead to defects in spindle assembly, such as the formation of multipolar spindles, and spindle maintenance, in which spindles elongate, fall apart, and deform in meiosis. Based on these observations the authors conclude that ZYG-8 depletion leads to excessive outward force. As the lab had previously found that the motor protein KLP-18 generates outside directed forces in meiosis, Czajkowski et al initially speculate that ZYG-8 might regulate KLP-18. KLP-18 depletion generally leads to the formation of monopolar spindles in meiosis. Intriguingly, when the authors co-deplete ZYG-8 they find that in some cases bipolarity was reestablished. This led to the hypothesis that yet another kinesin, BMK-1, the homolog of the mammalian EG-5, could provide redundant outward directed forces to KLP-18. The authors then study the effect of ZYG-8 and KLP-18 co-depletion in a BMK-1 mutant background strain and observe that bipolarity is no longer reestablished under these conditions, suggesting that BMK-1 generates additional outward directed forces. The authors also conclude that ZYG-8 inhibits BMK-1. To follow up on this Czajkowski et al generate a ZYG-8 line that carries a mutation in the kinase domain, which should inhibit its kinase activity. This line shows similar effects in terms of spindle elongation but reduced impact on spindle integrity, reflected in minor effects on the number of spindle poles and spindle angle. The authors conclude that ZYG-8's kinase activity is required for the function of ZYG-8 in meiosis and mitosis. Overall, the paper is well written, and the data is presented very clearly and reproducible. The experiments are adequately replicated, and statistical analysis are adequate. *The observations are very interesting. However, the authors could provide some additional insight into the function of ZYG-8. This paper is strongly focused on motor generated forces within the spindle and tries to place ZYG-8 within this context, but there is compelling evidence from other studies that ZYG-8 also affects microtubule dynamics, which would have implications for spindle assembly and structure. The paper would strongly benefit from the authors exploring this role of ZYG-8 in the context of meiosis further. If the authors feel that this would extend beyond the scope of this paper, I would suggest that the authors rephrase some of their introduction and discussion to reflect the possibility that changes in microtubule growth and nucleation rates could explain some of the phenotypes (think of katanin) and effects and that therefore it can not necessarily be concluded that BMK-1 is inhibited by ZYG-8. *

      We thank the reviewer for these positive comments on our manuscript and on the rigor of our data. We also thank them for the excellent suggestion to explore a potential role for microtubule dynamics. As detailed below in response to the specific points, we performed new experiments to explore this possibility, and found via FRAP analysis that there were substantial changes in microtubule dynamics upon ZYG-8 depletion. We have therefore added these new data and have re-written major parts of the manuscript to incorporate a discussion of microtubule dynamics throughout the paper (introduction, results, model, discussion). Our data now support two roles for ZYG-8 in regulating acentrosomal spindle assembly and stability - one in modulating microtubule dynamics and the other in tuning forces (either directly or indirectly). We are grateful to the reviewer for motivating us to do these experiments, as they have added a whole new angle to the manuscript and have greatly increased its impact, as we now have a fuller understanding of how ZYG-8 contributes to oocyte meiosis.

      Major points:

      *1.) Zyg-8, as well as the mammalian homolog DCLK-1, has been reported to play an important role for microtubule dynamics. While the introduction mentions its previously shown role in meiosis and mitosis, it is totally lacking any background on the effect on microtubule dynamics. The authors mention these findings in the discussion, but it would be helpful to incorporate this in the introduction as well. As an example, Goenczy et al 2001 demonstrated that ZYG-8 is involved in spindle positioning but also showed its ability to bind microtubules and promote microtubule assembly. Interestingly, like the authors here, Goenczy et al concluded that while the kinase domain contributes to, it is not essential ZYG-8's function. Also, Srayko et al 2005 (PMID 16054029) demonstrated that ZYG-8 depletion led to reduced microtubule growth rates and increased nucleation rates in C. elegans mitotic embryos. And in mammalian cells DCLK-1 was shown to increase microtubule nucleation rate and decrease catastrophe rate, leading to a net stabilization of microtubules (Moores et al 2006, PMID: 16957770). It would be great if the authors could add to the introduction that ZYG-8 has been suggested to affect microtubule dynamics. *

      We agree that this is a great idea. As the reviewer suggested, we decided to explore the possibility that ZYG-8 impacts microtubule dynamics within the oocyte spindle. We depleted ZYG-8 and performed FRAP experiments to determine if there were effects on microtubule turnover. We found that loss of ZYG-8 caused a dramatic decrease in the spindle's ability to recover tubulin, both at the spindle center and at the spindle poles (shown in a new Figure 7). We made substantial changes to the manuscript when adding these new data - the manuscript now discusses ZYG-8's role in modulating microtubule dynamics in the introduction, results, discussion, and model (Figure 9), and we added all of the references suggested by the reviewer. We think that the manuscript is greatly improved due to these additions and changes.

      *2a.) The authors initially study two different ts alleles, or484ts and b235ts. The experiments clearly show a significant increase in spindle length in both strains. However, the or484 strain had been previously studied (McNally et al 2016, PMID: 27335123), and only minor effects on spindle length were reported (8.5µm in wt metaphase and 10µm in zyg-8 (or484)). How do the authors explain these differences in ZYG-8 phenotype. Even though the ZYG-8 phenotype is consistent throughout this paper it would be good to explain why the authors observe spindle elongation, fragmentation and spindle bending in contrast to previous observations. *

      The reviewer is correct that McNally et.al. (2016) noted only minor effects on spindle length and did not report observing spindle bending or pole defects. However, the images presented in their paper of spindles in the zyg-8(or484) mutant (in Figure 8B) only showed spindles after they had already shrunk in preparation for anaphase; it is possible that these spindles had pole or midspindle defects prior to this shrinking, and that the authors did not note those phenotypes because their analysis focused on anaphase. In contrast, since the goal of our study focused on how ZYG-8 impacts spindle assembly and maintenance, we looked carefully at spindle morphology and quantified a larger number of metaphase spindles (in their study, only 12 metaphase spindles were measured, since metaphase was not the focus of their manuscript). Recently (after we submitted our manuscript), another study from the McNally lab was published, where they did note metaphase defects following ZYG-8 inhibition (though they did not describe the defects in detail or explore why they happened). We now mention and cite this new paper (Li et.al., 2023) in our manuscript, to show that our findings are consistent with the work of others in the field.

      *2b.) As a general note, it would be helpful if the authors could indicate if the spindles are in meiosis I or II. The only time where this is specifically mentioned is in Video 7, showing a Meiosis II spindle, which makes me assume all other data is in Meiosis I. Adding this to the figures would also help to distinguish if some of the images, i.e. Figure 1B, show multipolar spindles due to failed polar body extrusion. If this is the case then the quantification of number of poles should maybe reflect different possibilities, such as fragmented poles vs. multiple poles because two spindles form around dispersed chromatin masses. *

      We agree that it is a good idea to clarify this issue. For all of our experiments, we analyzed both MI and MII spindles. However, there were no noticeable differences in phenotype between MI and MII spindles for any of our mutant/depletion conditions - we observed bent spindles, elongated spindles, and extra poles in both MI and MII following ZYG-8 inhibition. Therefore, for the quantifications presented in the manuscript (spindle length, spindle angle, number of poles), we pooled our MI and MII data. We have now added this information to the manuscript for clarity (lines 97-99 and 139-141). In addition, we have added new images to Figure 1B that show examples of MII spindles (both at the permissive and restrictive temperature), to show that the phenotypes are indistinguishable between MI and MII.

      We agree with the reviewer that one of the spindles in the original Figure 1B looked like it could have resulted from failed polar body extrusion (the chromosomes appeared to be in two masses, something we did not originally notice, so theoretically each mass could have organized its own spindle). To determine if this was the case, we looked closely at the chromosomes in this image; we confirmed that there were only 6 chromosomes, and that all were bivalents (these can be distinguished from MII chromosomes based on size). Therefore, this spindle was not multipolar due to an issue with polar body extrusion. However, to prevent future confusion, we picked a different representative spindle (where the bivalents we not grouped into two masses), and we added a new column to the figure that shows the DNA channel in grayscale (so it is easier to see and count the chromosomes). We also now note in the materials and methods how we were able to distinguish between MI and MII in our experiments (chromosome count, size, presence of polar bodies), so that it is clear that none of our phenotypes result from failed polar body extrusion (lines 600-603).

      *3) The authors generate a line that carries a mutation leading to a kinase dead version of ZYG-8. It would be great if the authors could further test if this version is truly kinase dead. What is interesting is that the kinase dead version the authors create has less effect on the numbers of pole than the zyg-8 (b235)ts strain, which carries a mutation in a less conserved kinase region. Overall, it seems that the phenotypes are very similar, independent on mutations in the microtubule binding area, kinase area or after AID. This could of course be due to all regions being important, i.e. microtubule binding is required for localizing kinase-activity. Generating mutant versions of the target proteins, for example here BMK-1, that can not be phosphorylated or are constitutively active as well as assessment of changes in protein phosphorylation levels in the kinase dead strain would be helpful to provide deeper insight into potential regulation of proteins by ZYG-8. *

      We agree that it would be ideal to test whether the D604N mutant is truly kinase dead. However, in the interest of time, we ask to be allowed to skip that experiment. The analogous residue has been mutated in mammalian ZYG-8 (DCLK1), and has been shown to cause DCLK1 to be kinase dead in vitro; this is a highly conserved aspartic acid in the central part of the catalytic domain, so we infer that the mutation we made in ZYG-8 should be kinase dead as well. However, since we did not test this directly, we softened our language in the manuscript, explaining that we "infer" that it is kinase dead rather than stating definitively that it is. With regard to the zyg-8(b235)ts mutant having a stronger phenotype, we think that it is possible that this mutation destabilizes a larger portion of the protein (rather than just affecting the catalytic activity), since the phenotypes in this mutant are similar to depletion of the protein in the ZYG-8 AID strain. Therefore, we think that our D604N mutant reveals new information about the role of kinase activity, since it is a more specific mutation that should likely only affect catalytic activity and not the rest of the protein (based on the previous work on DCLK1).

      While we appreciate the suggestion from the reviewer to generate mutant versions of potential target proteins, we ask that this be considered beyond the scope of the study. Now that we know that ZYG-8 not only affects forces within the spindle (maybe BMK-1) but also microtubule dynamics, there are many potential targets - it would require a lot of work to figure out what the relevant targets are. Instead of exploring this experimentally in this manuscript, we added a new section to the discussion where we speculate on what some of these targets could be, to motivate future studies.

      *4a) The authors state that "BMK-1 provides redundant outward force to KLP18". Redundancy usually suggests that one protein can take over the function of another one when the other is not there. In these scenarios a phenotype is often only visible when both proteins are depleted as each can take over the function of the other one. Here however the situation seems slightly different, as depletion of BMK-1 has no phenotype while depletion of KLP-18 leads to monopolar spindles. If BMK-1 would normally provide outward directed forces, would this not be visible in KLP-18 depleted oocytes if they were truly redundant? I assume the authors hypothesize that ZYG-8 inhibits BMK-1 and thus it can not generate outward directed forces. In this case, do the authors envision that ZYG-8 inhibits BMK-1 prior to or in metaphase or only in anaphase or throughout meiosis? Do they speculate, that BMK-1 is inhibited in anaphase and only active in metaphase? *

      The reviewer makes an excellent point - we agree that we should not use the word "redundant" in this context, so we have removed this phrasing from the manuscript. We hypothesize that BMK-1 can provide outward forces during spindle assembly but is not capable of providing as much force as KLP-18 (the primary force-generating motor). We infer this based on our experiments where we co-deplete KLP-18 and ZYG-8 (using long-term depletion). Although BMK-1 is presumably activated under these conditions, it is not able to restore spindle bipolarity (there are outward forces generated, which results in minus ends being found at the periphery of the monopolar spindle, but spindles are not bipolar).

      Therefore, BMK-1 is not able to fully replace the function of KLP-18 during spindle assembly. Interestingly, our experiments imply that BMK-1 can better substitute for KLP-18 later on (when ZYG-8 is inhibited); when we remove ZYG-8 from formed monopolar spindles, bipolarity can be restored (an activity dependent on BMK-1). These findings suggest that ZYG-8 plays a more important role in suppressing BMK-1 activity after the spindle forms, to prevent spindle overelongation in metaphase. We have edited the manuscript to better explain these points.

      *4b) In addition, Figure S4 somewhat argues against a role for ZYG-8 in regulating BMK-1. ZYG-8 depletion supposedly leads to increased outward forces due to loss of BMK-1 inhibition, thus co-depletion of ZYG-8 with BMK-1 should rescue the increased spindle size at least to some extent, however neither increase in spindle length nor increase in additional spindle pole formation are prevented by co-depletion of BMK-1 suggesting that BMK-1 is not generating the forces leading to spindle length increase. Thus, arguing that after all ZYG-8 does not regulate BMK-1. This should be discussed further in the paper and the authors should consider changing the title. At this point the provided evidence that ZYG-8 is regulating motor activity is not strong enough to make this claim. *

      The reviewer is correct that Figure S4 shows that the effects of depleting ZYG-8 on bipolar spindles (spindle elongation and pole/midspindle defects) cannot solely be explained by a role for ZYG-8 in regulating BMK-1 - this was the point that we were trying to make when we included this data in the original manuscript. However, we previously did not know what this other role could be, and therefore we only speculated on other potential roles in the discussion. Now that we have done FRAP experiments and have found that ZYG-8 also affects microtubule dynamics in the oocyte spindle, we now have a better explanation for the data presented in Figure S4 - it makes sense that deleting BMK-1 would not rescue the effects of ZYG-8 depletion, since we have evidence that ZYG-8 also regulates microtubule dynamics. We now clearly explain this in the revised manuscript and we have changed the title to make it clear that ZYG-8 plays multiple roles in oocytes.

      *5) The authors are proposing that ZYG-8 regulates/ inhibits BMK-1, however convincing evidence for an inhibition is not provided in my opinion and the effect of ZYG-8 on BMK-1 could be indirect. To make a compelling argument for a regulation of BMK-1 the authors would have to investigate if ZYG-8 interacts and/ or phosphorylates BMK-1 (see 7) and if this affects its dynamics. In addition, given the reported role of ZYG-8 on microtubule dynamics it would be very important that the authors consider studying the effect of ZYG-8 degradation on microtubule dynamics. Tracking of EBP-2 would be good, however this is very difficult to do inside meiotic spindles due to their small size. In addition, the authors could maybe consider some FRAP experiments, which could provide insights into microtubule dynamics and motions, which could be indicative of outward directed forces/ sliding. *

      We thank the reviewer for these comments as they motivated us to explore a role for ZYG-8 in modulating microtubule dynamics. The reviewer is correct that tracking EBP-2 in the very small meiotic spindle is not possible due to technical limitations, so we took the suggestion to perform FRAP. These experiments revealed that microtubule turnover in the spindle is greatly slowed following ZYG-8 depletion, suggesting a global stabilization of microtubules (data presented in a new Figure 7). This change in dynamics could contribute to the observed spindle phenotypes, which we now explain in detail in the manuscript. Given these new findings, we also now note that the effects we see on BMK-1 activity could be indirect (i.e. maybe increasing the stability of microtubules allows motors to exert excess forces). We now clearly discuss these various possibilities in the discussion.

      Summary: Additional requested experiments:

      • Interaction/ phosphorylation of BMK-1 by ZYG-8, i.e. changes of BMK-1 phosphorylation in absence of ZYG-8, BMK-1 mutations that may prevent phosphorylation by ZYG-8.
      • Assessment of microtubule dynamics (EBP-2, FRAP, length in monopolar spindles...)
      • Kinase activity of the kinase dead ZYG-8 strain (OPTIONAL) We assessed the role of ZYG-8 in microtubule dynamics (bullet point #2). Because this new analysis revealed that ZYG-8 plays multiple roles in the spindle, we decided not to further investigate whether ZYG-8 phosphorylates BMK-1, since the manuscript now no longer argues that this is ZYG-8's major function. We also did not assess the kinase activity of the D604N mutant since this has been done previously for DCLK1, and instead we softened the language in manuscript when describing this mutant.

      Minor points:

      *1) In Figure 4C it seems that the ZYG-8 AID line as well as the zyg-8 (or848)ts already have a phenotype (increased ASPM-1 foci) in absence of auxin/ at the permissive temperature. Does this suggest that the ZYG-8 AID as well as the zyg-8 (or848) strains are after all slightly defective (even if Figure 1, S1 and S2 argue otherwise) and thus more responsive to the loss of KLP-18? *

      The reviewer is correct that the ZYG-8 AID strain (without auxin) and zyg-8(or848)ts strain (at the permissive temperature) are slightly defective in the klp-18(RNAi) monopolar spindle assay. To more rigorously determine whether these strains were also defective in other assays, we generated new graphs comparing the spindle lengths and angles of the two temperature sensitive strains at the permissive temperature to wild-type (N2) worms. These data are now shown in Figure S1 (new panels F and G). A comparison of our ZYG-8 AID strain to a control strain (both in the absence of auxin) are shown in Figure S2 (panels C and D). In this analysis, there wasn't a significant difference for either of these comparisons (i.e. the spindle lengths and angles were all equivalent). We do not know why these strains appear to be slightly defective in the monopolar spindle assay, though perhaps this assay is more sensitive and can detect very mild defects in protein function.

      *2) The authors observe that in preformed monopolar spindles degradation of ZYG-8 can sometimes restore bipolarity. This observation is very interesting but why do the authors not observe a similar phenotype in long-term ZYG-8 AID; klp-18 (RNAi) or zyg-8(or484)ts; klp-18(RNAi). In the latter conditions bipolarity does not seem to occur at all. Do the authors think this is due to differences in timing of events? *

      We thank the reviewer for highlighting this point. We do think that our data suggest that ZYG-8 plays a more important role maintaining the spindle that it does in spindle formation; we have now more clearly explained this in the manuscript (detailing the differences in phenotypes we observe when we deplete ZYG-8 prior to spindle assembly or after the spindle has already formed, lines 180-189 and 227-231). To emphasize this point further, we have also included a graph in Figure S3G that directly compares the number of poles per spindle in long-term auxin treated spindles to short-term auxin treated spindles (with and without metaphase arrest).

      *3) Based on the Cavin-Meza 2022 paper it looks like depletion of KLP-18 in a BMK-1 mutant background does not look different from klp-18 (RNAi) alone. However, looking at Video 8, it looks like spindles "shrink" in absence of KLP-18 and BMK-1. Or is this due to any effects from the ZYG-8 AID strain? This can also be seen in Video 9. *

      The reviewer highlights a fair point that was not clearly explained in our manuscript. In normal monopolar anaphase, chromosomes move in towards the center pole as the spindle gets smaller (C. elegans oocyte spindles shrink in both bipolar and monopolar anaphase); this was previously described in Muscat et.al. 2015, and, as the reviewer noted, in Cavin-Meza et.al. 2022 (in a strain with the bmk-1 mutation). We see this same monopolar anaphase behavior in the ZYG-8 AID strain (Figure 6). We have now better explained normal monopolar anaphase progression and we have cited the Muscat et.al. paper in the relevant sections of the manuscript (lines 221-223 and 714-717).

      *4) Line 311: " ZYG-8 loads onto the spindle along with BMK-1, and functions to inhibit BMK-1 from over elongating microtubules during metaphase." Maybe this sentence could be re-phrased as it currently sounds like BMK-1 elongates (polymerizes) microtubules. *

      In re-writing the manuscript and emphasizing that there are multiple for ZYG-8 (in addition to regulating forces within the spindle), we removed this sentence.

      *5) Line 313: "Intriguingly, in C. elegans oocytes and mitotically-dividing embryos, BMK-1 inhibition causes faster spindle elongation during anaphase, suggesting that BMK-1 normally functions as a brake to slow spindle elongation (Saunders et al., 2007; Laband et al., 2017). Further, ZYG-8 has been shown to be required for spindle elongation during anaphase B (McNally et al., 2016). Our findings may provide an explanation for this phenotype, since if ZYG-8 inhibits BMK-1 as we propose, then following ZYG-8 depletion, BMK-1 could be hyperactive, slowing anaphase B spindle elongation." This paragraph could be modified for better clarity. It is not clear how the findings of the authors, BMK-1 provides outward force but is normally inhibited by ZYG-8, align with the last sentence saying "following zyg-8 depletion, BMK-1 could be hyperactive slowing anaphase B spindle elongation", should it not increase elongation according to the authors observations? *

      In re-writing the manuscript to incorporate our new data showing that ZYG-8 plays a role in modulating microtubule dynamics, we also re-wrote this discussion so that there would be less emphasis on the potential connection between ZYG-8 and BMK-1. In making these edits to expand the focus of the manuscript, we removed this section of the discussion.

      Reviewer #1 (Significance (Required)): *In this manuscript Czajkowski et al explore the role of the doublecortin-family kinase ZYG-8 during meiosis in C. elegans Oocytes. The authors conclude that BMK-1 generates outward directed force, redundant to forces generated by KLP-18, and that ZYG-8 inhibits BMK-1. The authors conclude that ZYG-8's kinase activity is required for the function of ZYG-8 in meiosis and mitosis. This research is interesting and provides some novel insight into the role of ZYG-8. In particular the observed spindle elongation and subsequent spindle fragmentation are novel and had not yet been reported. Also, the observation that degradation of ZYG-8 in monopolar klp-18(RNAi) spindles can restore bipolarity is novel and interesting, as well as the observation that this is somewhat dependent on the presence of BMK-1. This will be of interest to a broad audience and provides some new insight into the role of importance of ZYG-8 and BMK-1. The limitation of the study is the interpretation of the results and the lack of solid evidence that the observed phenotypes are due to ZYG-8 regulation motor activity, as the title claims. To support this some more experiments would be required. In addition, ZYG-8 has been reported to affect microtubule dynamics, which can certainly affect the action of motors on microtubules. This line of research is not explored in the paper but would certainly add to its value.

      Field of expertise: Research in cell division *

      We thank the reviewer for their positive comments on the impact and novelty of our findings. We hope that the additional experiments we performed and the revisions we made to the text thoroughly address the reviewer's concerns and that they deem the revised manuscript ready for publication.

      Reviewer #2 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)): *In this manuscript, the authors explore the requirement for doublecortin kinase Zyg8 in C elegans oocytes. Oocytes build meiotic spindles in the absence of centrosomes, and therefore unique regulation occurs during this process. Therefore, how spindles are built and its later stability are an area of active investigation in the field. Using mutant alleles of Zyg8 and auxin-induced degron alleles, the authors demonstrate that this kinase is required to negatively regulate outward pole forces through BMK1 kinesin and that it has other functions to still explore. Overall, I find that this study takes an elegant genetic approach to tackling this important question in oocyte biology. I have some comments to consider for making the MS clear to a reader. *

      We thank the reviewer for these positive comments on our approach and the importance of our research question. We have attempted to address all of the reviewer's suggestions and we think that they increase the clarity of the manuscript.

      Major Comments:

      *1.) Although I like the graphs describing the altered angles of the spindles, it falls short in fully assessing the phenotype in a meaningful statistical way. Could the authors also graph the data to show statistical significance in the angles between conditions? Perhaps by grouping them into angle ranges and performing an Anova test? This is important in Figure 2E where it is not obvious that there is a difference. *

      The reviewer makes a good point - we have now addressed this concern by performing ANOVA tests to compare conditions on each of the angle graphs. Results of these tests have been reported in the corresponding figure legends. This analysis has confirmed all of the statements we made in the original manuscript. In Figure 1D and S1D, spindle angles were significantly different in the zyg-8 temperature sensitive mutants at the restrictive temperature, and in Figure 2, the angles were significantly different between the "minus auxin" and "plus auxin" conditions. This differs from Figure 7, where there was no significant difference in spindle angle between control spindles and kinase dead mutant spindles (p-value >0.1).

      *2.) The authors do not discuss the significance of the altered spindle angles which I think is an interesting phenotype. Would this be a problem upon Anaphase onset? What is known about spindle angle and aneuploidy or cell viability? Has this phenotype been described before in oocytes or somatic cells? Does depletion of other kinesin motors cause this? *

      The reviewer brings up a good point that warrants more discussion in the manuscript. We agree that the angled spindles are an interesting phenotype; we believe that they could be a result of the spindle elongating to a point where the spindle center becomes weakened, suggesting that the severity of the angle is representative of the severity of spindle elongation. Alternatively, the angled spindles could be a result of the loss of spindle stability factors, such as the doublecortin domain of ZYG-8. This domain is known to have microtubule binding activity; this could be required to maintain stable crosslinked microtubules in the spindle center, such that when ZYG-8 is depleted, the spindle more easily comes apart as the spindle elongates. We now discuss these possibilities in the revised manuscript.

      To the reviewer's second point, we did not examine anaphase outcomes in our manuscript. However, this was recently explored by another lab (in a study that was published after we submitted our manuscript). This study showed that spindles lacking ZYG-8 were able to initiate anaphase and segregate chromosomes (McNally et.al., 2023, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1011090). Perhaps when the spindle shrinks at anaphase onset, the spindle is able to reorganize and largely correct the angle defect, enabling bi-directional chromosome segregation. Interestingly, however, McNally et.al. did report conditions under which spindle bending in anaphase resulted in polar body extrusion errors. The authors reported that BMK-1, which is known to act as a brake to prevent spindle oveelongation in anaphase, is required to prevent bent spindles during anaphase by resisting the forces of cortical myosin on the spindle. Thus, there is precedence for the idea that spindle needs to remain straight throughout anaphase, to ensure proper chromosome segregation.

      *3.) How is embryo spindle positioning determined? It is not clear from the images that there is a defect so I'm not sure what to look for. Is there a way to quantify this? *

      In the original manuscript, spindle positioning within the embryo was determined qualitatively by eye, which we agree was not a precise measure. To address the reviewer's comment, we re-analyzed our images and assessed the position of the spindle within each embryo quantitatively - these data are now shown in Figure 8H and Figure S2B. Spindle position was quantified by analyzing images using Imaris software. The center of the spindle was set by creating a Surface of the DNA signal, and finding the center of that signal. The cell center was determined by measuring the length of the embryo along the long axis and the width of the embryo along the short axis, and setting the center as the halfway point of the total length and width of the embryo. Distance from spindle center to cell center was then measured and graphed. This quantification confirmed the claims we made in our original manuscript - both auxin-treated ZYG-8 AID spindles and ZYG-8 kinase-dead mitotic spindles were significantly mispositioned. The details of how we performed this quantification have been added to the materials and methods.

      *4.) In Figure 1, it appears that there are 2 spindles. Are these MI and MII spindles or ectopic spindles? How do the authors know which one to measure? *

      We thank the reviewer for pointing this out. Reviewer 1 had a similar comment, and we now understand that using that image was misleading, as it looked like as if were two separate MII spindles formed following a failed polar body extrusion event. We have gone through all of our images to stage the oocytes by looking at their chromosome morphology (i.e., to distinguish MI and MII) - the image in question had 6 bivalents and was therefore in Meiosis I; we think that this was a single spindle where the chromosomes happened to cluster into two masses. However, to prevent further confusion, we have replaced this image with a different representative image. In spindles like this with multiple poles, we measure the dominant axis of the spindle (if there are multiple poles, we pick the most prominent ones for the angle measurement). For additional details please see our response to Reviewer 1 major point #2b.

      *5.) The authors show depletion of Zyg8 by western (long) and loss of Gfp (long and short), but don't do so for the acute treatment. I'm guessing this is because the Gfp tag is taken by the spindle marker. The authors should either demonstrate or explain how they know that the acute depletion is effective in removing Zyg8 protein. *

      The reviewer makes a valid point. However, we are unable to see ZYG-8 depletion via acute auxin treatment using live imaging, as ZYG-8 localization is too dim and diffuse to see on the spindle using our typical live imaging parameters (we attempted to do this in a version of the ZYG-8 AID strain that has mCherry::tubulin and GFP::ZYG-8, so that there was no other spindle protein tagged with GFP). To see any GFP::ZYG-8 signal, we had to increase the laser power and exposure time well above what we typically use for live imaging - in doing this, we noticed that there was a limit to how high we could go before the cell began dying during the imaging time course, evident by a lack of chromosome movement, lack of tubulin turnover, and a general increase in tubulin signal throughout the cytoplasm. We do believe that ZYG-8 is being depleted using acute auxin treatment, however, as we see spindle defects very quickly upon dissection of the oocytes into auxin - we just unfortunately don't have a good way of quantifying this given these technical limitations. We have now added information to the materials and methods noting that we cannot see GFP::ZYG-8 under our live imaging conditions (lines 552-561), so that the reader better understands this caveat.

      *6.) In video 2, the chromosome signal is dimmer in the auxin treatment compared to video 1. Why is this? Is it just an experimental artifact or is there something significant about this? If it is because of video choice, consider replacing this one. *

      We thank the reviewer for their keen observations. The chromosome signal being dimmer in the auxin treatment is an experimental artifact - the brightness of the signal can vary depending on how far the spindle is from the slide (this can vary from video to video, and can also change over the time course of one video if the spindle moves during filming). Because of this, movies taken at the same intensity and exposure conditions may appear to have varying levels of brightness. So that readers of the manuscript can better see the chromosomes in this video, we have brightened the chromosome channel in this movie and noted this in the materials and methods (lines 549-551).

      7.) Please consider color palette changes for color-blind readership.

      We agree that it is important to present data in a way that can be appreciated by color-blind readers. Although we would prefer not to have to alter every image in our paper at this point, we have provided all important individual channels in grey scale. We are also planning to adopt a change in color palette for future papers.

      Reviewer #2 (Significance (Required)):

      *The strengths of this manuscript include use of multiple genetic approaches to establish temporal requirements of ZYG8 and which pathway it is acting through. Additionally, the videos and images make the phenotypes clear to evaluate. A minor limitation is that we don't know if the ZYG8 and BMK1 genetic interaction is a direct phosphorylation or not. This MS is an advancement to the field of spindle building and stability, and is particularly relevant to human oocyte quality and fertility. Previous work has shown that human oocyte spindles are highly unstable, but it is challenging to dissect genetic interactions and to conduct mechanistic studies in human oocytes. Therefore, the work here, although conducted in a nematode, can shed light on mechanism as to why human oocyte spindles are unstable and associated with high aneuploidy rates. Based on my expertise in mammalian oocyte biology, I am confident that work presented here will be of high interest to people in the field of meiotic spindle building, aneuploidy and fertility. It also will have broader interest to folks in the areas of kinesin biology, general microtubule and spindle biology. *

      We thank the reviewer for these positive comments on the strength of our data and the significance of our findings reported in our original manuscript. We think that the improvements that we have made in response to suggestions from all three reviewers has further increased this impact.

      Reviewer #3 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      *Summary: The focus of this paper is the function of a relatively understudied (at least in meiosis) kinase in acentrosomal spindle assembly (Zyg-8, or DCLK1 in mammals) in C. elegans oocytes. The authors use existing ts alleles and a newly generated GFP-Auxin fusion protein, and find that the ts alleles and auxin degron have similar phenotypes. They also examine the interaction with two related kinesins, KLP-18 and BMK-1 in order to investigate the mechanism behind the zyg-8 mutant phenotype. One can probably debate the significance and focus of their conclusions (force balance on the spindle). However, this is an important study because its the first on the meiotic function of a ZYG-8 kinase, and it may open the way to further studies of this kinase and how it regulates multiple kinesins and meiotic spindle assembly. *

      We thank the reviewer for these positive comments and for pointing out the potential future impacts of our work. In revising the manuscript, we have broadened the focus of the manuscript - we no longer solely focus on force balance within the spindle. Thus, our revisions have substantially increased the significance and impact of our work, since the manuscript is no longer narrowly focused.

      Major points:

      *1.) The main concern is the focus that the main defect in zyg-8 depleted oocytes is on outward forces (eg line 134, 277, but many other places in Results and Discussion). The arguments in favor (eg line 269-271) are reasonable. However, these data are not conclusive, and do not rule out regulation of other motor activities, such as bundling, depolymerization or chromosome movement. These are complex phenotypes, and a kinase could have multiple targets and there are often multiple interpretations. This is briefly alluded to in line 372-373 but the authors could do more. Spindle length changes could be caused by different rates of depolymerization or polymerization at the poles or chromosomes. Its not clear how poleward force regulation explains the multiple pole phenotype, although a lack of central spindle integrity could do that. In most of the Results and Discussion, it is not clearly stated on what structures these outward forces are acting. Are these forces effecting kinetochore associated microtubules, or antiparallel overlap microtubules? What do the authors mean by proper force balance? Figure 8 suggests the defect is associated with the amount of overlap and force among antiparallel microtubules - that the forces effected are from the sliding of these microtubules. *

      We agree that our original manuscript was too narrowly focused on the idea of force balance and that we did not discuss other potential roles for ZYG-8 in enough detail (except for briefly in our discussion). In response to both this comment and to a suggestion by Reviewer #1, we decided to investigate a potential role for ZYG-8 in modulating microtubule dynamics (which could be another explanation for some of the phenotypes we observed). We performed FRAP to measure the rate of tubulin turnover within the spindle near the center and at the poles. Interestingly, these experiments revealed that loss of ZYG-8 slows the rate of tubulin turnover, suggesting a general stabilization of microtubules. Thus, we have re-written our manuscript to clearly explain that ZYG-8 plays multiple roles in oocyte spindles - with these changes throughout the manuscript (in the introduction, results, and discussion), the paper is now no longer focused primarily on forces. We hypothesize in the discussion that the phenotypes we observe could be a combination of the effects on microtubule dynamics and spindle forces; if microtubules become more stable and motors produce excess outward forces, this may cause stress on the spindle structure that could cause the midspindle to bend and the poles to split (lines 379-382). We also now more clearly explain that the effect ZYG-8 has on spindle forces could be either direct or indirect (e.g., ZYG-8 could directly regulate motors or, by affecting the microtubule tracks themselves, it could affect their ability to exert forces). As for which population of microtubules are affected, we hypothesize that the excess forces act primarily on overlapping antiparallel microtubules (these microtubules run laterally alongside chromosomes in this system), as is represented in the model figure (Figure 9); we attempted to more clearly explain this in the re-written manuscript.

      *2.) Based on differences between the long term and short term knockdown phenotypes, the authors suggest ZYG-8 is more important for spindle maintenance. For example, in line 299 the authors note that there is a more severe phenotypes with zyg-8 removed from pre-formed spindles. The authors could improve the presentation of this to allow the reader to appreciate this observation. The data is spread between Figures 2 and 3 without a direct comparison of the data. One solution would be to graph the data (eg # of poles) together in one graph and indicate if there is statistical significance. In the Discussion, the authors could refer to specific figure panels. *

      The reviewer is correct that our data suggests that ZYG-8 is more important for spindle maintenance than it is for assembly. As suggested, we made a graph that includes all the pole data from Figures 2 and 3 (long-term auxin, short-term auxin, and metaphase-arrested short-term auxin) - this is now shown in Figure S3D. This makes it easier for the reader to compare these data and appreciate this point. In addition, we added text to the results section, to more clearly explain our rationale for thinking that ZYG-8 plays a more prominent role in spindle maintenance than in assembly (lines 180-189 and 227-231).

      *3.) What is the practical difference between acute and short term depletion. Does acute show weaker phenotypes because there is more residual protein? Unfortunately, the effectiveness of Auxin treatment does not appear to be measured for acute or short term. If the acute depletion adds little to Figure 3, or is not much different than long term, then its not clear what it adds to the paper. Later, in Figure 6, why is only short term and acute analyzed. In general, the authors need to provide better rationale for the different auxin conditions, particularly acute and short term (eg. line 135). If they don't add anything, they should consider not presenting them because readers may get confused by the different conditions, why they were done, and what is learned from each one. *

      The reviewer brings up a fair point that we agree requires clarification. Descriptions of the different types of auxin experiments is provided in Figure 1A. Long-term AID depletes proteins overnight, so the protein of interest is already missing from the oocyte when the spindle begins to form - this allows us to assess whether the protein is required for spindle assembly. However, to determine if a protein is required to stabilize pre-formed spindles, we need to remove the protein quickly after the spindle forms (using either acute or short-term AID). Acute AID is performed by dissecting oocytes directly into auxin-containing media; this allows us to watch what happens to the spindle live, as the protein is being depleted. However, one limitation is that we can only film for a short time before the oocytes begin to die (oocytes become unhappy with extended light exposure, so we cut off the videos after 15 minutes or so, to ensure that we are not filming past the point where they begin to arrest or die). Therefore, to assess what happens to spindles beyond this point, we perform short-term auxin treatment, where whole worms are soaked in auxin containing solution for 30-45 minutes and then the oocytes are dissected for immunofluorescence; this technique allows us to look at what happens to the spindle after more extended protein depletion (since we are not limited to the 10-15 minute window of filming). We have now clarified this in the manuscript by adding these details to the materials and methods. Unfortunately, it is not technically possible to quantify the extent of protein depletion in acute AID via western blotting since we would not be able to easily collect enough dissected oocytes to make a protein sample. (It is also technically challenging to quantify this via imaging; see our response to Reviewer #2, point #5). However, we assume that we are depleting ZYG-8 since we see dramatic spindle defects immediately upon dissection into auxin.

      Minor points:

      *3.) I am a little confused about imaging for GFP::tubulin in auxin experiments. Doesn't the ZYG-8 protein also have GFP? Should this be visible in controls? Is it measurable in the experiments? *

      The reviewer is correct that the ZYG-8 protein is also tagged with GFP in the GFP::tubulin; mCherry::histone live imaging experiments. However, we found that the GFP::ZYG-8 signal is undetectable using the live imaging conditions we are using. We determined this by analyzing a version of the ZYG-8 AID strain in which tubulin was tagged with mCherry (and thus the only GFP-tagged protein was ZYG-8). Using the same live imaging parameters we use for our movies of GFP::tubulin (same exposure time, laser power, etc), we did not detect any GFP::ZYG-8. We have now added this information to the materials and methods (lines 552-561) to clarify these points for the reader, to prevent further confusion.

      *4.) It is nice that the authors validated the results in an emb-30 background with unarrested oocytes. The authors note that the wild-type oocytes undergo anaphase (line 150). The images seem to suggest the auxin treated oocytes do not. Can the authors comment on anaphase in the depletion experiments. Even better, would be to comment on the accuracy of chromosome alignment and segregation. If zyg-8 mutant oocytes complete meiosis, is there any aneuploidy? These are important questions because otherwise the defects in zyg-8 mutants have less significance. *

      We thank the reviewer for their comment. Previous work on ZYG-8 in C. elegans examined a role for ZYG-8 in anaphase and showed that this protein is required for anaphase B spindle elongation (McNally et.al. 2016); because this was known when we launched our study, we purposely did not extensively study ZYG-8 in anaphase and instead focused on understanding how ZYG-8 contributes to spindle formation and stability. Our fixed imaging long-term AID experiments revealed that spindles were able to go through anaphase and segregate chromosomes bidirectionally despite the metaphase spindle phenotypes, consistent with this previous work (McNally et.al. 2016) and with another recent paper from the same lab (McNally et.al. 2023). However, we did not examine whether there were chromosome segregation errors. Given that anaphase is not the focus of our paper, we ask that this be deemed beyond the scope of our study.

      5.) Later, in line 184, the authors indicate that zyg-8 bipolar spindles "segregate chromosomes". Which images show anaphase I? As noted above, a limitation of these studies is not knowing the outcome of meiosis in these Zyg-8 depletions.

      We agree that in the original manuscript it was difficult to see that chromosomes were segregating bidirectionally in our movies and in the still timepoint images presented in Figure 5. Therefore, we brightened the chromosome channel in the relevant videos to make it easier to see the segregating chromosomes. Video 6 shows an oocyte in Meiosis II, as the first polar body can be seen near the spindle in this movie. At 2 minutes, the monopolar spindle becomes bipolar and begins to shrink as it goes into anaphase. Chromosomes begin to move apart and then the spindle elongates. At 11 minutes, you can see that the chromosomes have segregated bidirectionally. Thus, when monopolar spindles reorganize into bipolar spindles under these conditions, they can drive bidirectional chromosome segregation. We did not assess the fidelity of chromosome segregation under these conditions (i.e., whether chromosomes segregated accurately), as the question we were trying to answer in this experiment was whether outward forces sufficient to re-establish bipolarity could be activated upon ZYG-8 depletion (as explained above in response to point #4, we focused our study on trying to understand the effects of ZYG-8 depletion on the spindle, rather than on anaphase). We agree that analyzing anaphase outcomes would be interesting, but we ask that it be considered beyond the scope of this study.

      *6.) Line 206 suggests that ZYG-8 inhibits BMK-1. Is a simple explanation that BMK-1 is required for the bipolar spindles observed in the klp-18 zyg-8 AID oocytes? *

      Yes, the reviewer is correct that BMK-1 is required for the generation of bipolar spindles in the klp-18(RNAi) ZYG-8 AID conditions. In the original manuscript we extrapolated this result to propose that ZYG-8 regulates BMK-1. However, this comment, as well as feedback from the other reviewers and our new experiments (showing that ZYG-8 also modulates microtubule dynamics) has made us re-think the way we discuss this result, as we now agree that it does not prove this regulation (it is only suggestive). Therefore, in the revised manuscript, we no longer definitely claim that ZYG-8 regulates BMK-1 - we have switched to softer language (stating that ZYG-8 "may regulate" BMK-1, etc.). In the results section we now describe our conclusions as follows: "These data demonstrate that BMK-1 produces the outward forces that are activated upon ZYG-8 and KLP-18 co-depletion and raise the possibility that ZYG-8 regulates BMK-1 either directly or indirectly" (lines 250-252).

      *7.) Given that many mitotic and meiotic kinases are localized to specific regions or domains of the spindle, there is only limited discussion of the ZYG-8 localization pattern. Does the ZYG-8 localization pattern provide any insights into its mechanism of promoting spindle assembly? *

      The reviewer makes a good point - while we did report ZYG-8 localization, the discussion on the importance of its localization pattern was limited. To address this, we now remind readers in the discussion that ZYG-8 and BMK-1 co-localize throughout meiosis, consistent with the possibility that ZYG-8 could regulate BMK-1. Notably, this localization pattern is also consistent with the observation that ZYG-8 modulates microtubule dynamics across the spindle; this is now also noted in the discussion (lines 358-361).

      *8.) Line 96-97 - how much is the ZYG-8 depletion? *

      To address this question, we have quantified the amount of ZYG-8 protein in our ZYG-8 AID strain in control, long-term, and short-term auxin treated conditions. The western blot was quantified by comparing the raw intensity of the bands and subtracting the background signal. Short-term auxin depletion resulted in an ~63% reduction in ZYG-8 GFP signal, and long-term depletion resulted in an ~93% reduction in ZYG-8 GFP signal. This has now been reported in the manuscript on lines 785-786.

      *9.) Line 140: the authors say spindle length could not be measured, but perhaps it makes more sense to measure half spindle (chromosome to spindle pole). The images do give the impression that the chromosome to pole distance is shorter. *

      While we liked this idea and tried to perform these measurements, it turned out to be difficult in practice, since the spindle length measurements are obtained by finding the distance from pole (center of the ASPM-1 staining) to center of the chromosome signal. If you look carefully at our images you will notice that the chromosomes lose alignment following short-term AID; therefore, the chromosomes do not form one mass, which made it very difficult to determine an accurate "center" of the DNA signal. Additionally, in most cases the poles are disrupted such that ASPM-1 is found in many separate masses and/or is diffusely localized around the periphery of the spindle. Because of this, we unfortunately felt that these measurements would not be very accurate and would be hard to interpret.

      *10.) Don't see the point of lines 323-330. Could be deleted? *

      In revising our manuscript, we have rephrased these lines in an attempt to provide more context. Because DCLK1 has been shown to be upregulated in a wide variety of cancers, there are ongoing efforts to find chemical inhibitors that specifically block the kinase activity of this protein to be used as cancer therapeutics. However, no one has previously shown that the kinase activity of DCLK1 is important for its in vivo function (in any organism). Therefore, we were trying to make the point that, since we demonstrated that kinase activity is important for the functions of a DCLK1 family member in vivo, this suggests that these kinase inhibitors may in fact be beneficial in knocking down DCLK1 activity.

      11.) Figure 1: Because ts alleles could have a defective phenotype at "permissive" temperature, a wild-type control should be included. This data does appear in a later figure.

      The reviewer is correct that this data does appear in a later figure, but we agree this direct comparison would provide clarity to the reader. To address this comment, we compared the spindle lengths and angles of the two temperature-sensitive (TS) strains (at both the permissive and restrictive temperatures) to wild-type (N2) worms - these data have been added to Figure S1 (new panels F and G). The spindle lengths of both TS strains at the permissive temperature did not significantly differ from wild-type spindle lengths (p>0.1), while both TS strains at the restrictive temperature were significantly different than wild-type (p0.1), but there was a significant difference between wild-type spindles and the TS mutants at the restrictive temperature (doublecortin domain mutant (p Reviewer #3 (Significance (Required)): The strengths of this paper are the novelty of studying Zyg-8. It also addresses important questions regarding acentrosmal spindle assembly in oocytes. The weakness is mostly in the limited interpretation of results and not enough consideration of alternative interpretations. Related to this, the authors only test the force balance hypothesis with the knockout of two related kinesins. They don't experimentally investigate other mechanisms for the zyg-8 phenotype. This research should be of broad interest to anyone interested in oocyte spindle assembly, and also in a more specialized way to those who study kinases or Zyg-8 homologs in other cell types or organisms.

      We thank the reviewer for these positive comments on the strengths and novelty of our manuscript. We also appreciate the constructive suggestions of all three reviewers, which motivated us to perform new experiments that revealed additional functions for ZYG-8 - these revisions have greatly improved the manuscript and have broadened its impact.

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      Referee #2

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      In this manuscript, the authors explore the requirement for doublecortin kinase Zyg8 in C elegans oocytes. Oocytes build meiotic spindles in the absence of centrosomes, and therefore unique regulation occurs during this process. Therefore, how spindles are built and its later stability are an area of active investigation in the field. Using mutant alleles of Zyg8 and auxin-induced degron alleles, the authors demonstrate that this kinase is required to negatively regulate outward pole forces through BMK1 kinesin and that it has other functions to still explore. Overall, I find that this study takes an elegant genetic approach to tackling this important question in oocyte biology. I have some comments to consider for making the MS clear to a reader.

      Major Comments:

      1. Although I like the graphs describing the altered angles of the spindles, it falls short in fully assessing the phenotype in a meaningful statistical way. Could the authors also graph the data to show statistical significance in the angles between conditions? Perhaps by grouping them into angle ranges and performing an Anova test? This is important in Figure 2E where it is not obvious that there is a difference.

      2. The authors do not discuss the significance of the altered spindle angles which I think is an interesting phenotype. Would this be a problem upon Anaphase onset? What is known about spindle angle and aneuploidy or cell viability? Has this phenotype been described before in oocytes or somatic cells? Does depletion of other kinesin motors cause this?

      3. How is embryo spindle positioning determined? It is not clear from the images that there is a defect so I'm not sure what to look for. Is there a way to quantify this?

      4. In Figure 1, it appears that there are 2 spindles. Are these MI and MII spindles or ectopic spindles? How do the authors know which one to measure?

      5. The authors show depletion of Zyg8 by western (long) and loss of Gfp (long and short), but don't do so for the acute treatment. I'm guessing this is because the Gfp tag is taken by the spindle marker. The authors should either demonstrate or explain how they know that the acute depletion is effective in removing Zyg8 protein.

      6. In video 2, the chromosome signal is dimmer in the auxin treatment compared to video 1. Why is this? Is it just an experimental artifact or is there something significant about this? If it is because of video choice, consider replacing this one.

      7. Please consider color palette changes for color-blind readership.

      Significance

      The strengths of this manuscript include use of multiple genetic approaches to establish temporal requirements of ZYG8 and which pathway it is acting through. Additionally, the videos and images make the phenotypes clear to evaluate. A minor limitation is that we don't know if the ZYG8 and BMK1 genetic interaction is a direct phosphorylation or not.

      This MS is an advancement to the field of spindle building and stability, and is particularly relevant to human oocyte quality and fertility. Previous work has shown that human oocyte spindles are highly unstable, but it is challenging to dissect genetic interactions and to conduct mechanistic studies in human oocytes. Therefore, the work here, although conducted in a nematode, can shed light on mechanism as to why human oocyte spindles are unstable and associated with high aneuploidy rates.

      Based on my expertise in mammalian oocyte biology, I am confident that work presented here will be of high interest to people in the field of meiotic spindle building, aneuploidy and fertility. It also will have broader interest to folks in the areas of kinesin biology, general microtubule and spindle biology.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this work, Odenwald and colleagues show that mutant biotin ligases used to perform proximity-dependent biotin identification (TurboID) can be used to amplify signal in fluorescence microscopy and to label phase-separated compartments that are refractory to many immunofluorescence approaches. Using the parasite Trypanosoma brucei, they show that fluorescent methods such as expansion microscopy and CLEM, which require bright signals for optimal detection, benefit from the elevated signal provided by TurboID fusion proteins when coupled with labeled streptavidin. Moreover, they show that phase-separated compartments, where many antibody epitopes are occluded due to limited diffusion and potential sequestration, are labeled reliably with biotin deposited by a TurboID fusion protein that localizes within the compartment. They show successful labeling of the nucleolus, likely phase-separated portions of the nuclear pore, and stress granules. Lastly, they use a panel of nuclear pore-TurboID fusion proteins to map the regions of the T. brucei nuclear pore that appear to be phase-separated by comparing antibody labeling of the protein, which is susceptible to blocking, to the degree of biotin deposition detected by streptavidin, which is not.

      Strengths:

      Overall, this study shows that TurboID labelling and fluorescent streptavidin can be used to boost signal compared to conventional immunofluorescence in a manner similar to tyramide amplification, but without having to use antibodies. TurboID could prove to be a viable general strategy for labeling phase-separated structures in cells, and perhaps as a means of identifying these structures, which could also be useful.

      Weaknesses:

      However, I think that this work would benefit from additional controls to address if the improved detection that is being observed is due to the increased affinity and smaller size of streptavidin/biotin compared to IgGs, or if it has to do with the increased amount of binding epitope (biotin) being deposited compared to the number of available antibody epitopes. I also think that using the biotinylation signal produced by the TurboID fusion to track the location of the fusion protein and/or binding partners in cells comes with significant caveats that are not well addressed here, mostly due to the inability to discern which proteins are contributing to the observed biotin signal.

      To dissect the contributions of the TurboID fusion to elevating signal, anti-biotin antibodies could be used to determine if the abundance of the biotin being deposited by the TurboID is what is increasing detection, or if streptavidin is essential for this. Alternatively, HaloTag or CLIP tagging could be used to see if diffusion of a small molecule tag other than biotin can overcome the labeling issue in phase-separated compartments. There are Halo-biotin substrates available that would allow the conjugation of 1 biotin per fusion protein, which would allow the authors to dissect the relative contributions of the high affinity of streptavidin from the increased amount of biotin that the TurboID introduces.

      The idea of using the biotin signal from the TurboID fusion as a means to track the changing localization of the fusion protein or the location of interacting partners is an attractive idea, but the lack of certainty about what proteins are carrying the biotin signal makes it very difficult to make clear statements. For example, in the case of TurboID-PABP2, the appearance of a biotin signal at the cell posterior is proposed to be ALPH1, part of the mRNA decapping complex. However, because we are tracking biotin localization and biotin is being deposited on a variety of proteins, it is not formally possible to say that the posterior signal is ALPH1 or any other part of the decapping complex. For example, the posterior labeling could represent a localization of PABP2 that is not seen without the additional signal intensity provided by the TurboID fusion. There are also many cytoskeletal components present at the cell posterior that could be being biotinylated, not just the decapping complex. Similar arguments can be made for the localization data pertaining to MLP2 and NUP65/75. I would argue that the TurboID labeling allows you to enhance signal on structures, such as the NUPs, and effectively label compartments, but you lack the capacity to know precisely which proteins are being labeled.

    2. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors aimed to investigate the effectiveness of streptavidin imaging as an alternative to traditional antibody labeling for visualizing proteins within cellular contexts. They sought to address challenges associated with antibody accessibility and inconsistent localization by comparing the performance of streptavidin imaging with a TurboID-HA tandem tag across various protein localization scenarios, including phase-separated regions. They aimed to assess the reliability, signal enhancement, and potential advantages of streptavidin imaging over antibody labeling techniques.

      Overall, the study provides a convincing argument for the utility of streptavidin imaging in cellular protein visualization. By demonstrating the effectiveness of streptavidin imaging as an alternative to antibody labeling, the study offers a promising solution to issues of accessibility and localization variability. Furthermore, while streptavidin imaging shows significant advantages in signal enhancement and preservation of protein interactions, the authors must consider potential limitations and variations in its application. Factors such as the fact that tagging may sometimes impact protein function, background noise, non-specific binding, and the potential for off-target effects may impact the reliability and interpretation of results. Thus, careful validation and optimization of streptavidin imaging protocols are crucial to ensure reproducibility and accuracy across different experimental setups.

      Strengths:

      - Streptavidin imaging utilizes multiple biotinylation sites on both the target protein and adjacent proteins, resulting in a substantial signal boost. This enhancement is particularly beneficial for several applications with diluted antigens, such as expansion microscopy or correlative light and electron microscopy.

      - This biotinylation process enables the identification and characterization of interacting proteins, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of protein-protein interactions within cellular contexts.

      Weaknesses:

      - One of the key advantages of antibodies is that they label native, endogenous proteins, i.e. without introducing any genetic modifications or exogenously expressed proteins. This is a major difference from the approach in this manuscript, and it is surprising that this limitation is not really mentioned, let alone expanded upon, anywhere in the manuscript. Tagging proteins often impacts their function (if not their localization), and this is also not discussed.

      - Given that BioID proximity labeling encompasses not only the protein of interest but also its entire interacting partner history, ensuring accurate localization of the protein of interest poses a challenge.

      - The title of the publication suggests that this imaging technique is widely applicable. However, the authors did not show the ability to track the localization of several distinct proteins on the same sample, which could be an additional factor demonstrating the outperformance of streptavidin imaging compared with antibody labeling. Similarly, the work focuses only on small 2D samples. It would have been interesting to be able to compare this with 3D samples (e.g. cells encapsulated in an extracellular matrix) or to tissues.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      The authors sincerely appreciate the editors’ and the reviewers’ dedication in providing constructive and insightful comments aimed at enhancing the quality of the manuscript. In response to the valuable feedback received, we have implemented significant revisions to the manuscript, including the addition of key experiments, reorganization of the figures as well as providing detailed point-to-point responses to address the reviewers’ concerns. With these changes, we are confident that we have effectively addressed the comments raised by all three reviewers and have strengthened the overall quality of the manuscript.

      Below are the major improvements we have made in the revised manuscript:

      1. Figure 4  new figure with polysome profiling assay to strengthen the link between translational regulation and mitochondrial defects.
      2. Figure 7  added confocal images showing the transfer of mitochondria into recipient cells.
      3. Figure S2  added RER data further supporting a shift of metabolism to favor fatty acid oxidation as shown by proteomics data.
      4. Figure S4  added WB data showing that protein degradation was not affected, strengthening a protein synthesis defect due to Fam210a KO.
      5. Figure S5B, S6C  added quantification to the staining and blots.

      1. Point-by-point description of the revisions

      Reviewer #1 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      In the manuscript entitled "FAM210A mediates an inter-organelle crosstalk essential for protein synthesis and muscle growth in mouse", Chen et al, found that knocking out of FAM210A specifically in muscle using Myl Cre resulted in abnormal mitochondria, hyperacetylation of cytosolic proteins, and translation defects. The manuscript uncovered the new functions of FAM210A in regulating metabolism and translation. I have the following the concerns about the manuscript.

      Comments

      One of the major phenotypes of FAM210A is the decrease of muscle mass after 6 weeks after birth. Is this phenotype caused by the accumulation of progressive loss of muscle mass from birth? Are the body weight and muscle mass reduced in FAM210A knocking out new-born mice? Is the muscle mass growth curve the same in FAM210A and WT mice from birth to 6 weeks after birth? These results will reveal more mechanism of FAM210A mediated muscle mass control. Answer: Indeed, the phenotype of the Fam210aMKO was caused by the progressive loss of muscle mass. The body weight of the mice was not different before 3-weeks of age (Figure 2B). We reasoned that myonuclei accretion occurred before Myl1Cre induced knockout of Fam210a, accounting for the relative normal muscle development and nuclei accretion prior to 21 days after birth (refer to Response Figure 2). However, due to the small muscle mass, it is hard to accurately evaluate whether the muscle mass in very young mice. Regardless, we believe that body weight and muscle weight closely mimic each other and exhibit similar slopes in WT and KO mice (Response Figure 1).

      Beyond 21 days, muscle growth is mainly attributed to hypertrophy of myofibers, a process that relies on protein synthesis. Yet the Fam210aMKO myofibers has defects in protein synthesis, explaining why the muscles cannot gain weight after 3 weeks and started to lose weight. We have shown that at 4 weeks the TA muscle weight was 13 mg in Fam210aMKO compared to 25 mg in WT control. At 6-weeks, the TA weight in the Fam210aMKO mouse was 10 mg compared to 28 mg in the WT control. Furthermore, the TA weight of the Fam210aMKO mouse was 8.7 mg compared to 36mg in the WT control. These results provide compelling evidence that the Fam210aMKO muscles are progressively wasted.

      Response Figure 1. Changes of body weights and TA muscle weights during postnatal growth. The muscle weights increased (in wildtype mice) or decreased (in KO mice) with body weights at similar trends.

      Does the muscle mass continue to decrease after 8 weeks?

      Answer: Based on the trend (see Response Figure 1), we believe the answer is “yes”. However, we were not allowed to monitor the Fam210aMKO mice after 8 weeks of age, as they were severely lethargic and can barely move, reaching the humane endpoint determined by the IACUC guidelines.

      FAM210A knockout mice displayed high lethal rate. Is there any potential mechanism for the high lethality?

      Answer: We performed extensive necropsy and could not identify a direct cause. The potential cause for the lethality could be the difficulty of breathing as the diaphragm muscle was very thin in the Fam210aMKO mouse compared to the WT control. Besides, the diminished muscle contraction force (Figure 3) might have prohibited normal activities (including eating), leading to exhaustive death.

      In Figure 2, the muscle mass decreased significantly, while the fat mass only decreased slightly in FAM210A knockout mice. However, the ratio of the lean mass and fat mass to body mass did not change in FAM210A knockout mice compared to WT mice. How do the authors reconcile this?

      Answer: Just to clarify, Figure 2D-E shows that fat mass was significantly reduced at 4-week old but not reduced at 6-week old. We interpret the significant reduction of the mass but not the ratio (to body weight) as the result of the concomitant reduction of the body weight in the Fam210aMKO mice.

      Are there changes of the number of nuclei per myotube? Is the muscle atrophy in FAM210A knockout mice caused by the defects of fusion, or the degradation of protein, or both?

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this question. To answer this question, we isolated myofibers from WT and Fam210aMKO mouse at 4-week-old and quantify the myonuclei number. We did not observe a significant reduction of myonuclei number per myofiber in the Fam210aMKO mouse, suggesting that the myoblast fusion into myofibers was not affected in the Fam210aMKO model. (Response Figure 2)

      Response Figure 2. DAPI staining and quantification in the single myofiber isolated from WT and Fam210aMKO mice.

      The number of myonuclei in the WT and Fam210aMKO was not different, suggesting normal fusion of satellite cells in Fam210aMKO mice.

      We also did western blot to check the atrophy related protein expression in WT and Fam210aMKO mouse at different ages. Interestingly, we did not observe a significant induction of these proteins (Atrogin-1, MuRF1) in the Fam210aMKOmuscle. Therefore, we conclude that the muscle atrophy was due to protein translation defects in the Fam210aMKO, independent of myoblast fusion and protein degradation (Figure S4C).

      Are the growth curves of muscle mass growth in EDL and SOL the same in FAM210A knockout mice?

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for the question. In the Myl1Cre mediated Fam210a KO model, Fam210a was deleted in both fast (EDL) and slow (SOL) muscles (see response to Reviewer 3, second point). We think that the “growth curve” of the EDL and SOL muscle should be same (stagnant and even reduced) upon Fam210a KO as the mouse grows from 4-week to 8-week.

      The oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production are higher in FAM210A knockout mice, suggesting a high metabolism rate. In contrast, the heat production of FAM210A knockout mice is lower, suggesting a low metabolism rate. Any explanation?

      Answer: The VCO2 and VO2 values were normalized to the body weight, and the KO value appeared high because their body weights were much lower at the time of test. While for heat production (unit: Kcal/hr), body weight was not a factor in the calculation. The seemingly contradicting/surprising result that a weak KO mouse could have higher VCO2 and VO2could be recapitulated in other mouse models (for example PMID: 22307625).

      Given the high glucose consumption in FAM210A, why is the clearance rate of blood glucose low?

      Answer: We believe there is a misunderstanding here. A smaller AUC (as seen in the KO) suggest faster blood glucose clearance. The circulating glucose level after fasting is lower in the KO mice, which suggests that the Fam210aMKO mice were consuming more glucose compared to the WT mice. In the GTT test, the Fam210aMKO mice showed a lower AUC after the injection of glucose, implying that the Fam210aMKO mice cleared the injected glucose at a faster rate, probably due to a pseudo-fasting state which would promote the uptake of circulating glucose when available.

      Are there any changes of the abilities for the FAM210A knockout mice in running endurance?

      Answer: Indeed, the Fam210aMKO mice ran less distance, shorter time, and at a lower speed when tested on a treadmill endurance running program (Figure 3)

      In page 5, the last sentence of the 2nd paragraph, the authors concluded "There results suggest that Fam210aMKO induces a metabolic switch to a more oxidative state." It is better to describe it as muscle metabolic since the whole-body metabolism has not been carefully examined.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for pointing this out, we will change the wording to better reflect the changes observed in the Fam210aMKO mouse regarding the metabolism.

      In Fig. 6, what is the link between increased transcription level of Fgf21 and the elevated level of aberrant acetylation of proteins?

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this interesting question! However, we did not pursue a direct causal relationship between Fgf21 level and aberrant protein acetylation. In our model, we are proposing that mitochondrial defects in the Fam210aMKO model can trigger the integrated stress response which leads to a higher Fgf21 transcript level in the muscle. This is coinciding with the acetylation increase in the muscle due to the excessive production of acetyl-CoA. A potential relationship between Fgf21 and protein acetylation warrant examination in a future study.

      After careful considerations on the mechanism proposed in the study, we decided to remove qPCR data showing the modest increase of Fgf21 mRNA level. The removal of this data will not change the conclusions we draw nor lessen the significance of the mitochondria transfer experiment.

      Is there any link between the increased acetylation level of rebolsome proteins and the translation defects?

      Answer: Indeed, there are ample studies showing that ribosomal proteins can be acetylated, and that the acetylation of ribosomal proteins can affect the protein synthesis process, for example in PMID: 35604121 and PMID: 37742082. Here in this paper, we showed by ribosome profiling assay that the muscle has defects in the polysome formation (at 4-week and 6-week), when the protein acetylation was significantly increased in the Fam210aMKO mice (Figure 4D-4G).

      How do the abnormal mitochondria lead to increased protein acetylation? And how do these defects further cause translation problem?

      Answer: As elaborated in the discussion, we propose that upon Fam210a KO in mature myofiber, the TCA cycle in the mitochondria was disrupted, blocking utilization of acetyl-CoA and resulting in the accumulation of acetyl-CoA in the muscle. The excess acetyl-CoA lead to increased protein acetylation in the cytosol. We identified that ribosomal proteins are hyperacetylated in the muscle. We also observed that the polysome formation in the muscle was impaired, which exacerbates the translation efficiency.

      Consistently, when we treated C2C12 during in vitro culture with sodium acetate to mimic the increase of acetylation of proteins, we showed that excessive levels of acetyl-CoA can block the differentiation of C2C12 cells (Response Figure 3).

      Response Figure 3. The effect of sodium acetate on the differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts.

      The differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts into myotubes were probed by the protein abundance of Myog and MF20, which showed a decrease in the expression level when sodium acetate was added in increasing amounts.

      The defects in translation will cause general problems besides mitochondria defects. Are there any phenotypes related to the overall translation inhibition observed? If not, why?

      Answer: Just to clarify, our model suggests that mitochondrial defects in the Fam210a KO causes cytosolic translation defects, not the other way around. We showed by SUnSET experiment that the global translation was indeed reduced in the Fam210aMKO muscle at 4-week. We also observed that the p-S6 level which indicates the global protein translation was decreased. It is also true that the global translational arrest can exacerbate the mitochondrial defects and fewer mitochondrial proteins can be synthesized. This feed forward loop can explain the aggravating phenotype in the Fam210aMKO mouse as the mouse gets older.

      Are the abnormal mitochondria, increased protein acetylation, and translation inhibition observed in 2-6 weeks old mice? When were these defects first found? Are they correlated with muscle atrophy?

      Answer: At 2-week-old, the protein synthesis or degradation was not changed between WT and Fam210aMKO mice (Figure S4C). The mitochondria abnormality was first observed at 4 weeks of age, concomitant with the decrease of protein translation (decreased p-S6), polysome formation, and protein hyperacetylation. The acetylation increase was apparent at 6-week together with decreased p-S6 level, polysome assembly and mitochondrial defects. Decreased protein translation has been shown to cause muscle atrophy (PMID: 19046572).

      Reviewer #1 (Significance (Required)):

      This manuscript described many interesting phenotypes of Fam210a knockout mice. However, the links between these phenotypes are obscure. The logic of the manuscript will be greatly improved if the authors could provide explanations to logically link the phenotypes.

      Reviewer #2 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      Summary: In this manuscript, Chen et al., investigate the functions of FAM210A in skeletal muscle physiology and metabolism. FAM210A is a mitochondria-localized protein in which mutations have been associated with sarcopenia and osteoporosis. Using publicly available gene expression datasets from human skeletal muscle biopsies the authors first demonstrate that the expression of FAM210 is reduced in muscle atrophy-associated diseases and increased in muscle hypertrophy conditions. Based on this, they show that a muscle specific Fam210a deletion leads to muscle atrophy/weakness, systemic metabolic defects, and premature lethality in mouse. Further examination of the knockout myofibers reveals impaired mitochondrial respiration and translation program. Additionally, the authors demonstrate that the flow of TCA cycle is disrupted in the FAM210A-deleted myofibers, which causes abnormal accumulation of acetyl-coA and hyperacetylation of a subset of proteins. The authors claim that Fam210a deletion in skeletal muscle induces the hyper-acetylation of several small ribosomal proteins that leads to ribosomal disassembly and translational deficiency. However, this conclusion is not supported by adequate experimentation and rigorous analysis of ribosomal proteins acetylation and ribosome assembly.

      Major comments:

      -In general, figure legends are lacking information regarding number of biological replicates used and details about statistical analysis. What does three * vs. one * mean in terms of p-value? Exact p-values should be indicated.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for pointing this out, we have added the information to the revised figure legends.

      -The mechanistic studies linking muscle phenotypes with ribosomal protein hyperacetylation and mRNA translation defects are underdeveloped and not rigorously carried.

      Answer: We agree with the reviewer and have added new data in the revised manuscript to strengthen this link. For example, we have now provided direct evidence on the defective polysome assembly in the Fam210a KO muscles (Figure 4D-4G), which should profoundly impact mRNA translation. In addition, other groups have also shown that ribosomal protein acetylation can impact mRNA translation and polysome formation (PMID: 35604121).

      We also explored the effect of acetylation on differentiation (a process accompanied by extensive protein synthesis) related to our mouse model. We used sodium acetate to elevate acetylation during C2C12 differentiation. We found that increased acetylation indeed impaired the differentiation as can be seen by the reduced expression of MF20 (myosin protein) by WB and IF. The differentiation marker Myogenin was also reduced (Response Figure 3, 4).

      Response Figure 4. Immunofluorescence staining of Myog and MF20 in the differentiated C2C12 myotubes treated with different amounts of sodium acetate.

      The number of MF20 (green) positive myotubes and Myog (red) positive nuclei was significantly reduced in the cells treated with 15mM and 30mM sodium acetate.

      -Fig S1: The validation WB of FAM210A KO is not the most convincing. Why are the FAM210A levels so low in TA compared to other tissues?

      Answer: This is due to the insufficient proteins loaded as it was obvious from the Tubulin marker. We have replaced the WB blot with more convincing blots as requested (Figure S1C).

      -Fig 2G: The authors state "Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining did not reveal any obvious myofiber pathology in the Fam210a KO mice up to 8 weeks". However there seems to be a progressive increase in nuclei up to 8-weeks in the KO. What is the significance of this?

      Answer: Thank you for pointing this out. We have now changed the wording and quantified the myonuclei number per myofiber. The increase of myonuclei in the H&E images is likely due to the smaller myofiber size in the Fam210aMKOmouse compared to the WT (Response Figure 5).

      Response Figure 5. Quantification of the myonuclei number in the H&E images.

      -IP-MS analysis for FAM210A interacting proteins requires validation with IP and reverse IP + WB experiment.

      Answer: We did perform the co-IP with SUCLG2 and FAM210A antibodies to try to confirm the interaction. To be more specific, we transduced C2C12 myoblasts cells with an Fam210a overexpression virus and differentiated the cells for 3 days. The myotubes were used to test the interaction by pulling down Fam210a with a myc antibody (FAM210A has a myc tag) and blot with SUCLG2 antibody. Unfortunately, the results were not promising (Response Figure 6). We reasoned that the interaction might be indirect or too transient to be reliably detected.

      Response Figure 6. co-IP of SUCLG2 and FAM210A.

      • Figure 4A requires quantification of the SDH signals from multiple samples.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this suggestion. We have added the quantification of the staining (Figure S5B).

      • Figure 6F: To clearly demonstrate an increase in protein acetylation in the FAM210 MKO, the authors must provide quantification data generated with more then N=1. Please add the molecular weights markings on the side of the blots.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this suggestion, we have provided the quantification of the Acetylated-lysine blots, and added the molecular weight markers (Figure 6F, Figure S6C).

      • Figure 6H and S5: The mitochondria transfer experiment appears to be quite efficient compared to previously published studies. It would be important to control that the signal observed in the recipient cells is not due to the leakage of the MitoTracker dye from the donor mitochondria.

      Answer: This is an interesting point though MitoTracker dye is not supposed to leak as it covalently binds to mitochondrial proteins. Even though the dye may leak to mark the endogenous mitochondrial, it does not affect our goal to demonstrate that transfer of Fam210aMKO mitochondria into healthy cells can induce protein hyperacetylation. Additional evidence argues against the leakiness of Mitotracker dye to subsequently mark other mitochondria in the recipient cells: 1) mtDNA and MitoTracker signal both increase linearly with the increasing amounts of mitochondria transferred (Figure S7A); 2) We have now also included confocal images to show the presence of both MitoTracker labeled and non-labeled mitochondria in the recipient cells. We reason that if MitoTracker leaks within a cell then it would have labeled all mitochondrial in that cell (Figure 7C).

      • Figure 6J: The increase in Fgf21 is modest. Although the difference is statistically significant, is it biologically important?

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this question; indeed, the increase is modest. We think the reason of the modest increase compared to the drastic increase seen in vivo was because when we transplanted the WT and Fam210aMKOmitochondria to the recipient cell, the original mitochondria in the recipient were not depleted, which could explain the milder effect. However, we were able to show that the recipient cells readily increase the acetylation of proteins after receiving the Fam210aMKO mitochondria, recapitulating the phenotype we saw in the Fam210aMKO muscle.

      After careful considerations on the mechanism proposed in the study, we decided to remove qPCR data showing the modest increase of Fgf21 mRNA level. The removal of this data will not change the conclusions we draw nor lessen the significance of the mitochondria transfer experiment.

      • Figure 6C: How significant is the difference in acetylation of RPL30 in WT vs. KO. RPS13 was not found in the WT MS? Was this normalized to Input?

      Answer: the MS was performed with same loading. The mass spectrometry results for protein identification after AcK-IP were from pooled samples from 3 independent replicates (as the KO muscles are very scarce). Therefore, there was not a significance test.

      • Figure 7D: What are the MW of the bands shown on this blot? This experiment is by no means sufficient to demonstrate and confirm that ribosomal proteins are acetylated. An increase in RPL30 and RPS13 acetylation must be directly assessed.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for suggesting the more direct assays to look at RPL30 and RPS13 acetylation. We have shown that the ribosome fractions were indeed hyperacetylated in the Fam210aMKO mouse compared to the WT control (Figure S6D). We agree that this result cannot lead to the conclusion that the RPL30 and RPS13 are specifically hyperacetylated. Indeed, we have tried to use Acetylated lysine antibody pull down and RPS13/RPL30 blot to show the increase in the acetylated RPS13/RPL30 protein. However, we cannot show a robust increase in the acetylation, potentially due to the low number of acetylation sites on RPS13 and RPL30 protein. We therefore have reworded the conclusion in the revised manuscript to better reflect the results.

      • Fig7E: This experiment is not properly executed and in its current state does not rigorously support that "hyper-acetylation of several small ribosomal proteins leads to ribosomal disassembly". A) UV profiles of the fractionation must be provided to assess the quality of the profile. B) Provide MW markers. Which band is RPL30? The Input and free fraction bands are not at the same size. RPL30 should at least be visible on the 60S and polysomes from the WT. C) These results do not match the acetylation MS data, which seem to show that the increase in acetylation is much greater for RPS13. However, RPS13 presence on polysomes (assuming they are polysomes) is not affected in the KO. D) This type of experiment must be done for three independent biological replicates, blots from single lanes must be quantified and normalized to total signal (from all the lanes) for the same antibody.

      Answer: we appreciate the great advice on improving the experiment. As suggested, we have now added proper experimentation (UV profile, and better WB), with the help of Dr. Kotaro Fujii (included as co-author in the revised manuscript). The following results showed that in the 4-week sample, there was a decrease in the 80S monosome and polysome in the Fam210aMKO mice compared to the WT. The change was more drastic at 6-week (Figure 4D-4G). Similarly, due to the scarce amount of muscle in the KO mice, we need to pool samples from the 6-week-old mice for the experiment, and hope the reviewer can understand the situation. With the clear peaks shown in the UV profile as well as the WB results, we provide more convincing evidence that the polysome assembly was indeed impaired in the Fam210aMKO (Figure 4D-4G).

      • Fig 7F: Global translation rates are assessed by puro incorporation at week 4, a time point when differences in protein acetylation were not observed. This does not support the hypothesis that increased acetylation of ribosomal proteins causes defect in protein translation. (Referencing the authors statement p.7 lines 321-24.).

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this question. When we quantified the protein acetylation increase in the muscle at 4-weeks, we showed that there was a significant increase. But like the reviewer said, the ribosomal fractions were not significantly acetylated by WB at 4-week. We reasoned that, at early stages (4-weeks), the ISR signaling can lead to the translational arrest, along with the polysome formation defects, leading to the decreased protein translation. These are included in the discussion.

      • Other studies have implicated Fam210A in the regulation of mitochondrial protein synthesis through an interaction with EF-Tu. The authors also identified EF-Tu as an interactor in their LC-MS analysis (FigS4). A role for this interaction accounting for mitochondrial and translation defects seems to be underestimated and unexplored here.

      Answer: We agree with this point and believe the cytoplasmic translation defects are in addition to the mitochondrial translational defects. We have shown that FAM210A KO leads to the decrease of the MTCO1 which is encoded by the mitochondrial genome. Besides, we also showed by mitochondrial proteomics that TUFM was reduced in the KO, which also contributed to translational arrest in the mitochondria (Figure 5J). To answer whether mitochondrial encoded proteins are decreased in upon Fam210a KO, we blotted the protein lysates at different stages with antibodies for a few mitochondrial encoded proteins and showed that they decreased with ages (Response Figure 7).

      Response Figure 7. WB analysis and quantification of mitochondrial encoded proteins in WT and Fam210aMKO muscle at different ages.

      The mitochondrial proteins were indeed decreased in Fam210aMKO starting from 6-weeks of age compared to the WT.

      Minor comments:

      -What is known about FAM210A, other studies assessing its role, and the rational for studying its function should be better introduced.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for the suggestion to have more information of FAM210A functions/mechanisms in the introduction. We have added more background to the introduction.

      -In the discussion the authors states: "Moreover, when the proportion of ribosomal protein phosphorylation buildup in the Fam210aMKO, the assembly of the translational machinery is impaired therefore further dampen the cellular translation". Do they mean acetylation and not phosphorylation?

      Answer: We are sorry about the typo and have changed it. We thank the reviewer for catching this.

      • Please use the term "mRNA translation" or "protein synthesis" instead of "protein translation" in the text.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for the suggestion to properly refer to these processes. We have changed the terms in the manuscript.

      -The methods section for RT-qPCR: It should ne M-MLV RT and not M-MLC. If the qPCR data was normalized with 18S, please provide the sequence of the primers in the table. Information on how primer efficiency was tested must be included in the method section.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for pointing this out. We have changed the texts. We also have provided 18S sequence and provide texts about how primer efficiency was tested.

      Reviewer #2 (Significance (Required)):

      General assessment: Previous genome-wide association studies have found that mutations in FAM210A were associated with sarcopenia and osteoporosis. Because FAM210A is not expressed in the bone and highly expressed in skeletal muscle, it suggests that FAM210A likely plays an important role in muscle, which could also affect bone regulation. The authors here provide further evidence of an important role for FAM210A in diseases affecting muscle function by demonstrating that the expression of FAM210A decreases with age and in patients affected by Pompe disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hereditary recessive myopathy. FAM210A is a mitochondria-localized protein and given the crucial role of mitochondria in supporting muscle metabolism, elucidating the molecular function of FAM210A may provide important insights into diseases biology that could lead to the development of therapeutic approaches. Thus, a significant protein and regulatory pathway are explored in this study that can potentially impact human health. In this manuscript, the authors provide compelling evidence of the importance of Fam210a in muscle homeostasis with their newly generate mouse model. The experiments looking at muscle physiology, function and metabolism are well-executed and for the most part rigorous, which are the strengths of this manuscript. However, the conclusion that Fam210a deletion in skeletal muscle induces the hyper-acetylation of several small ribosomal proteins, which leads to ribosomal disassembly and translational deficiency is not supported by the data presented here. As noted in the comments above, these experiments need major improvement. Additionally, there are other concerns about general scientific rigor and conclusions inconsistent with the data presented as also noted in the comments section.

      Advance: Although a previous study explored the role of FAM210A using a skeletal muscle-specific KO induced at postnatal 28 days under a HSA promoter, the model used by the authors here provide a cleaner approach and more insights into the molecular functions of FAM210A in muscle physiology. The findings that Fam210a MKO disrupts the flow of TCA cycle, which leads to an abnormal accumulation of acetyl-CoA is interesting and provide new conceptual advance on the roles of FAM210A in mitochondria function in muscle. Acetyl-CoA production is an important source of acetyl-group that can be transferred to proteins and regulate gene expression programs. Thus, this is an important finding. However, molecular mechanism by which FAM210A regulates this process through an interaction with SUCLG2 is not provided and the nature this interaction is superficially explored.

      Audience: Findings from this manuscript are likely to interest both basic research and translational/clinical audiences as it explores the physiological and molecular function of a disease-linked protein. The findings are also likely to impact the fields of metabolism, mitochondria function and regulation of gene expression by protein acetylation (if concerns raised regarding these experiments are addressed).

      The fields of expertise of this reviewer are protein and RNA modifications, ribosome biogenesis and mRNA translation.

      Reviewer #3 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      The authors state that in their manuscript "the role of mitochondria in regulating cytosolic protein translation in skeletal muscle cells (myofibers)" has been explored (Line 19-20). As experimental model, they used mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of the myosin light chain 1 promoter. The first conclusion was that "FAM210A is positively associated with muscle mass in mice and humans". The authors say that the presented data "reveal a novel crosstalk between the mitochondrion and ribosome mediated by FAM210A".

      I recognize the potential of this work since the role of FAM210a has been more deeply investigated in skeletal muscle. In fact, the study by Tanaka et al, 2018 presented only a preliminary characterization of the role of FAM210a in muscle. However, I think that this work is not complete and each aspect that has been investigated is not well connected with each other. In particular, it is not clear whether the disrupted ribosomal assembly by hyperacetylation causes muscle atrophy or it is altered under catabolic states during atrophy (primary cause or consequence of?).

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for recognizing the importance of the study that characterizes the effect of FAM210A in muscle mass maintenance. In this study, we have shown that polysome formation was impaired at 4-week and therefore the translational efficiency was reduced in the muscle. This translational decrease coincides with the acetylation increase. Moreover, we showed by mitochondrial transfer experiment that the mitochondria from the Fam210aMKO mice can carry the phenotype and lead to acetylation increase in the recipient cells. Since muscle protein synthesis defects have been known to lead to muscle dystrophy, and we have shown that in the Fam210aMKO model, protein synthesis was indeed defective while there was not an induction of atrophy. Therefore, we conclude that the in the KO model, the protein synthesis defects lead to muscle atrophy.

      The other major point is represented by the fact that the Myl1-CRE expressing model provides selectivity in fast muscle fibers (see for example Barton PJR, Harris AJ, Buckingham M. Myosin light chain gene expression in developing and denervated fetal muscle in the mouse. Development. 1989;107: 819-824). Then the authors knocked out FAM210a only in fast fibers and they never take in consideration this key point! This is crucial since fast and slow muscles have different content of mitochondria with different size, shape, and metabolism! The muscle fibers can be classified based on the mitochondrial metabolism (see for example Chemello et al., 2019; PMID: 30917329).

      Regarding this point, they simply wrote at Line 75-76 "using a skeletal muscle specific Myl1 (myosin, light polypeptide 1) driven Cre recombinase specifically expressed in post-differentiation myocytes and multinucleated myofibers,...". It would be more correct to write multinucleated type 2 myofibers showing the reduction of FAM210a in different fiber types.

      I think that the authors must solve these aspect and then organize the findings accordingly. The data are in general interesting for broad type of audience.

      Answer:

      We appreciate the reviewer’s comment on the Myl1 knock-in Cre (Myl1Cre) model, which prompted us to more explicitly clarify some of the confusions around this model. We fully respect the validity of the 1989 study by Dr. Buckingham and other studies showing fast muscle specific expression of Myl1. However, we and others have shown that Myl1 not only mark the fast but also the slow myofibers (elaborated below). The discrepancy can be explained by the fact that using the Myl1Cre as a lineage marker is different from directly examining Myl1 expression at static timepoints by in situ hybridization (ISH). This is because Cre recombinase can accumulate and diffuse to all the myonuclei in a multinucleated myofiber, subsequently leading to deletion of LoxP-flanked DNA in all nuclei. Also, in the Cre/LoxP system, only a small amount of Cre recombinase is needed to induce the recombination of the target loxP sites and lead to gene KO. Another example of the discrepancy between the static mRNA pattern and the dynamic gene expression during development is the Hox gene expression. When the corresponding author (SK) of this manuscript was trained with Dr. Joshua R Sanes, he developed 3 Cre lines driven by three different Hox genes– that have been shown by ISH to be expressed in a specific rostral to caudal domain in the spinal cord during development. However, each of these Cre model ended up marking all the spinal cord without any domain specificity. In the case of Myl1Cre mouse model, we have previously published a paper on the lineage-tracing results using the Myl1Cre and showed that Myl1Cre marked all fast AND slow myofibers in mice (Wang et al, 2015, PMID: 25794679). In another lineage tracing study using nuclear GFP reporter, we report that Myl1Cre marks 96% nuclei in myofibers regardless of fiber types (Bi et al., 2016, PMID: 27644105), the remainder 4% non-marked nuclei potentially represent satellite cells. Other groups have also used the Myl1Cre model to induce KO in both fast and slow muscles (Pereira et al, 2020, PMID: 31916679). Therefore, we believe that the Myl1Cre mouse model allows us to efficiently knockout the Fam210a gene in both slow and fast muscle.

      To directly confirm that Fam210a was efficiently knocked out in both slow and fast muscles using the Myl1Cre mouse model, we isolated different muscle groups (Soleus and diaphragm that contains a large fraction of slow myofibers, TA and EDL that contain predominantly fast myofibers) and checked the expression level and the KO efficiency of Fam210a by WB. We have shown that even in slow muscles like diaphragm and SOL, the KO was very efficient, as there were no visible FAM210A bands in the WB (Figure S1C).

      In more detail:

      The data must be analyzed and discussed based on the fact that FAM210a has been deleted specifically in fast fibers. First the authors must show the protein levels of FAM210a in both fast, slow and mixed fast-slow muscles. Then for example in Figure S1C EDL, GAS and SOL muscles must be included.

      Answer: This is related to the misunderstanding of the Myl1Cre model. We understand the reviewer’s concern and therefore isolated proteins from different muscles in WT and Fam210aMKO mice at 4-weeks and checked the expression level of FAM210A. We have shown that regardless of fast or slow muscles, FAM210A was deleted.

      The blot in general must be repeated since it has poor quality (continuum of FAM210a band in the samples).

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this suggestion and increase the data quality. We have changed the original blot with the following blots showing that FAM210A was not deleted in other non-muscle tissues (Figure S1C).

      Please provide staining of TA, GAS and SOL muscles to show how Myl1CRE-directed deletion of FAM210a affect the different myofibers.

      Answer: This point is also related to assumption that Myl1Cre only induce deletion in fast myofibers. We have done staining in both EDL and SOL muscle to show the relative changes in myofiber compositions. We found that the myofibers in EDL and SOL muscle have shifted to a more oxidative type upon Fam210a KO (Figure S3).

      In Figure 2F where decreased TA muscle weight was showed in the Fam210aMKO mice, the authors must include also the other muscles (EDL, GAS and SOL).

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for helping us be more rigorous on the phenotype examination. We understand that the reviewer initially raised this question because of the concern on Myl1Cre model. Now that we have shown the MylCremarks both the fast and slow muscles, we believe this question is no longer a concern. Besides, to indirectly answer the question, we would like for the reviewer to appreciate the size difference of the EDL as well as the SOL muscle in Figure S3 in the manuscript. As can be seen from the images, the size of the SOL muscles in the KO was significantly reduced compared to the WT, speaking in favor of the KO effect on slow muscles.

      In general, since the HSA-CRE model is generally used for gene manipulation in skeletal muscles the authors must characterize their model considering that the myosin light chain 1 promoter Myl1-Cre is mainly active in postmitotic type II myofibers. The last model can also give advantage for mosaic gene manipulation in muscles with mixed fiber types.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for bringing this point up. We hope by the multiple lines of evidence that we provided in the previous questions, we can convince the reviewer that the KO model using the Myl1Cre does not lead to a mosaic gene manipulation in the muscle. On the contrary, the KO model is a homogeneous KO in both fast and slow muscles.

      Line 118-119 Fam210a level is positively corelated with muscle mass, as it is reduced in muscle atrophy conditions and increased in muscle hypertrophy conditions. Fig 1: I don't like since there are many different models in which the muscle mass reduction is associated with different mechanisms. Then independently of mechanisms associated with changes in muscle mass Fam210a is always linked to? Which common mechanism can explain this?

      Answer: We understand that the reviewer would like to pursue a conserved mechanism governing muscle mass maintenance, however, we by no means wanted to make a direct causal relationship between FAM210A level and different muscle disease/atrophy conditions. Indeed, the atrophic conditions presented have different mechanisms leading to muscle mass reduction, yet we wanted to present the possible connection that Fam210a level and muscle mass are co-regulated, and we later confirmed by KO mouse model that FAM210A KO indeed reduces muscle mass.

      Line 144-146 Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining did not reveal any obvious myofiber pathology in the Fam210aMKO mice up to 8 weeks (Figure 2G). I totally disagree! It seems that there is more inflammation upon deletion of Fam210aMKO. Please check it.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for pointing this out to help us more rigorously describe our results. We have changed the wording to better reflect the changes observed with H&E images.

      Fig3E-L there is a huge difference between EDL and SOL. The authors can't avoid to discuss their data considering the real expression of CRE upon Myl promoter: specific deletion in fast fibers. I think that the data in FIGS3 are very important and must be linked to data in Fig3. Organize in a different way all the presented data to really describe what is happening upon deletion of Fam210a.

      Again, the authors MUST organize better their data in the manuscript: to each paragraph must correspond data in the main figures. For example: at Line 189 Fam210aMKO mice exhibit systemic metabolic defects and at Line 208 Fam210aMKO increases oxidative myofibers and decreases glycolytic myofibers. These two paragraphs discuss data showed only in supplementary figures.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this suggestion. As shown in the previous responses, the Myl1Cre indeed induce efficient deletion of Fam210a in slow muscles. Therefore, we did not consider this to be a myofiber-specific deletion model. We consider these two results as the effect of a mitochondrial protein (FAM210A) on the myofiber metabolism (independent of myofiber type specific deletion), and that the deletion of Fam210a results in mitochondrial stress, which can lead to myofiber switch (Figure S3).

      Physical activity mast be monitored. Show respiratory exchange ratio (RER = VCO2/VO2) and discuss the results.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this suggestion. By these results, we would like to demonstrate that muscle homeostasis is important for the systemic metabolism, disruption of muscle mass maintenance in the Fam210aMKO mice leads to defects in the whole-body metabolism. We have now included the RER results (Figure S2F, S2G). The results show that the Fam210aMKO mice had significantly lower RER (VCO2/VO2) value at daytime, indicating that the mice rely more on utilizing fat as the fuel source. This is consistent with the proteomics results (Figure 5K) that the Fam210aMKOmice have increased FAO pathway. Unfortunately, our metabolic chamber does not have the capacity to monitor activity. We instead include data on heat production (Figure S2E).

      "Fam210aMKO increases oxidative myofibers and decreases glycolytic myofibers". The data mast be associated with the evaluation of the expression levels of FAM210 in different fiber type to really understand what is happening upon FAM210a loss.

      Answer: We understand the reviewer’s concern on the different expression level of Fam210a as well as the KO efficiency using the Myl1Cre model. We have shown that Fam210a is knocked out in fast and slow muscles, therefore, we did not consider the effects on fast and slow myofibers separately.

      As SDH activity in type 1 fibers is higher than type 2 the and since the authors are using a model in which Fam210a is deleted only in type 2 fiber they should understand what is happening: fiber 1

      Answer: We agree with the reviewer that the SDH activity is different in different myofibers. We have shown by western blot that FAM210A was similarly KO in both fast and slow muscles. When we performed fiber type staining in EDL and SOL muscle, we saw that there was a shift towards the slower myofiber types both in the EDL and SOL muscle, due to mitochondrial defects.

      Associate a cox assay with the sdh assay

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this suggestion. We have shown by SDH staining as well as seahorse experiments using isolated mitochondria that the complex II activity was impaired in the muscle. We understand the reviewer would like to see a COX assay to show the defects of the mitochondrial function. Though we were not able to perform the COX assay, we showed from other aspects that the mitochondrial function was impaired by running WB of the mitochondrial encoded proteins (ATP6, MTCO2, mtCYB) and showed these proteins were decreased with ages. Along with the morphological changes of the mitochondria shown by electron microscope (Figure 5 and Figure S5), we conclude that these changes must have impacted mitochondrial function.

      Figure 4b blot tubulin and FAM210a look strange. Look especially at first and second and fourth form the left side.

      Answer: We are sorry about the mistake in the images, we have changed the Tubulin blot in the Oxphos blots.

      Figure 4B OXPHOS protein levels look similar between wt and KO. Include the quantification with the significance (min 3-5 mice per genotype).

      Answer: we have quantified the change between WT and KO on different proteins (Reponse Figure 8).

      Response Figure 8. Quantification of the OxPHOS proteins in WT and Fam210aMKO muscle at different ages.

      Quantification of the blots showed that indeed the mitochondrial proteins were decreased in the Fam210aMKO. The change of mitochondrial encoded protein MTCO1 was earlier detected in the Fam210aMKO.

      Provide TEM analysis for SOL muscle. I would understand whether mitochondria are differently affected in fast and slow muscles.

      Answer: We understand the reviewer was originally concerned about the KO efficiency of Fam210a in fast and slow muscles, based on the assumption about the MylCre model. We have shown that the FAM210A protein was similarly depleted in both fast and slow muscles by western blot. In this case, we would speculate that the mitochondrial change in fast and slow muscles would be similar because the mitochondrial changes were due to the inherent defects in the mitochondria.

      In all experiments must be clear which muscle type or types was/were used:

      Line 268: "isolated from WT and Fam210aMKO muscles at 6 weeks of age".

      Line 587 "Muscle lysate acetyl-CoA contents"

      For Seahorse Mitochondrial Respiration Analysis at Line 599 "isolated mitochondria from muscle"

      For TCA cycle metabolomics at Line 615 "muscle tissue was weighed and homogenized"

      For SCS activity assay at Line 632 "mitochondria from muscles were isolated"

      For LC-MS/MS at Line 647 "Mitochondria were purified from skeletal muscles and subjected to proteomics analysis".

      For Ribosome isolation at Line 676 "Skeletal muscle from mice"

      For Polysome profiling experiment at Line 696 "muscle tissues from mice were dissected"

      It is important to know which muscles were used since confounding effects of the specific deletion of FAM210a in type 2 fibers must be identified and discussed.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for considering the different muscle groups in our mouse model. For experiments requiring a large amount of muscle tissue, such as ribosome isolation, mitochondrial isolation and polysome profiling, we used all the muscles from the mouse. For WB experiments, we used the TA muscle. We have included this information in the method section in the manuscript. Since we have shown that FAM210A was similarly depleted in different muscles (see previous responses), we think it is justified to pool muscles from the same mouse.

      Line 296-297 The authors wrote "Consistently, the mRNA levels of Atf4, Fgf21 and the associated transcripts were highly induced in the Fam210aMKO 296 both in the 4-week and 6-week-old muscle samples". Is Fgf21 responsible for the reduction of body weight? (see for example PMID: 28552492, PMID: 28607005 and PMID: 33944779). Measure the circulating Fgf21 protein in Ko and wt mice.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this great suggestion. Indeed, Fgf21 can potentially lead to body weight reduction, and this can explain the smaller body weight in our mouse model as well. However, we are more concerned about the muscle changes in our mouse model, therefore we did not further validate the changes of Fgf21 in the circulation.

      After careful considerations on the mechanism proposed in the study, we decided to remove qPCR data showing the modest increase of Fgf21 mRNA level. The removal of this data will not change the conclusions we draw nor lessen the significance of the mitochondria transfer experiment.

      Moreover the authors must check Opa1 total protein level and also the ratio between long and short isoforms. Is Fam210a interacting with Opa1?

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for this interesting question. Another publication from our lab has shown that Fam210a can modulate the cleavage of OPA1 in brown adipose tissue and influence the cold-induced thermogenesis (PMID: 37816711). Indeed, OPA1 deletion in muscle can lead to muscle atrophy and postnatal death at about day 10 (PMID: 28552492) through the induction of UPR (ISR) and the induction of Fgf21. We did not check the interaction between FAM210A and OPA1 in the muscle context, and FAM210A was not found to be interacting with OPA1 in brown adipose tissue (PMID: 37816711). However, the focus of this study was the acetylation change and the FAM210A effect on muscle mass maintenance. Therefore, we did not pursue the OPA1 related mechanism in skeletal muscle.

      The final part of the paper is really interesting but need to be discussed knowing exactly the used experimental model. Then check in which fiber types FAM210a is loss.

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for the stringency on the model used. Indeed, the mitochondria can be different from different muscle groups. However, since the muscle isolated from WT and KO mice was properly controlled and therefore can balance the effects of different mitochondria. We have consistently observed the increased acetylation when mutant mitochondria were transferred.

      Regarding the mitochondrial transplantation I'm surprise to see that it happens in the direction of unhealthy mitochondria to healthy cells. Are you able to rescue the phenotype of Fam210a KO cells with healthy mitochondria?

      Answer: We thank the reviewer for bringing this interesting yet important question up! Our mitochondrial transfer results support a “gain-of-function” model where excessive Acetyl CoA produced by the Fam210a-KO mitochondrial induces hyperacetylation. Regarding the question to transfer healthy mitochondria to rescue the KO cells, we reason that even when we transfer the healthy mitochondria to the KO cells, the healthy mitochondria will not stop the mutant mitochondria from making excessive amounts of acetyl-CoA and thus protein acetylation. A clean transfer would require depletion of the mitochondria in the KO cells and concomitant restoring FAM210A level in the KO cells (as the lack of Fam210a gene in the KO cells will eventually convert the transferred mitochondrial into mutants with the normal turnover of FAM210A). This is technically highly challenging and nearly impossible to do. We hope that the reviewer can understand the difficulties.

      Reviewer #3 (Significance (Required)):

      In conclusion, the strength of the presented paper is the novelty: the authors explored the role of FAM210a in skeletal muscle. However, the major limitation is represented by the fact that they did not show in which fiber types Fam210a is knocked out. In fact, the used CRE recombinase expressing model is well-known to be specific for type 2 fibers. Then since mitochondria and metabolism are central in this manuscript and they are different in the fast and slow fiber types, the authors must dissect in details this point.

      Moreover, there are many data but they are not linked each other and discussed properly. The paper must be completely re-organized.

      This manuscript can be interesting for a broad type of audience.

      I'm an expert on mitochondria, metabolism and skeletal muscle.

  4. Mar 2024
    1. Capacity building activities under the Mission include Establishment of SLTC / CLTC, preparationof HFAPoA, Trainings/ Workshops/ Study/ Exposure Visits, IEC, Social Audit, Third Party QualityMonitoring (TPQM), Geo-tagging, Administrative & Other Expenses (A&OE), and Research/Documentation etc. The Mission has also issued Capacity Building Activities Norms.

      It is often a good idea to bookmark or tag pages that have dense presence of key words. It is the kind of para that you will have to go back often to.

    1. Author Response

      The following is the authors’ response to the original reviews.

      eLife assessment

      In this study, the authors develop a useful strategy for fluorophore-tagging endogenous proteins in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using a split mNeonGreen approach. Experimentally, the methods are solid, and the data presented support the author's conclusions. Overall, these methodologies should be useful to a wide audience of cell biologists who want to study protein localization and dynamics at endogenous levels in iPSCs.

      Public Reviews:

      Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript, the authors have applied an asymmetric split mNeonGreen2 (mNG2) system to human iPSCs. Integrating a constitutively expressed long fragment of mNG2 at the AAVS1 locus, allows other proteins to be tagged through the use of available ssODN donors. This removes the need to generate long AAV donors for tagging, thus greatly facilitating high-throughput tagging efforts. The authors then demonstrate the feasibility of the method by successfully tagging 9 markers expressed in iPSC at various, and one expressed upon endoderm differentiation. Several additional differentiation markers were also successfully tagged but not subsequently tested for expression/visibility. As one might expect for high-throughput tagging, a few proteins, while successfully tagged at the genomic level, failed to be visible. Finally, to demonstrate the utility of the tagged cells, the authors isolated clones with genes relevant to cytokinesis tagged, and together with an AI to enhance signal-to-noise ratios, monitored their localization over cell division.

      Strengths:

      Characterization of the mNG2 tagged parental iPSC line was well and carefully done including validation of a single integration, the presence of markers for continued pluripotency, selected offtarget analysis, and G-banding-based structural rearrangement detection.

      The ability to tag proteins with simple ssODNs in iPSC capable of multi-lineage differentiation will undoubtedly be useful for localization tracking and reporter line generation.

      Validation of clone genotypes was carefully performed and highlights the continued need for caution with regard to editing outcomes.

      Weaknesses:

      IF and flow cytometry figures lack quantification and information on replication. How consistent is the brightness and localization of the markers? How representative are the specific images? Stability is mentioned in the text but data on the stability of expression/brightness is not shown.

      To address this comment, we have quantified the mean fluorescence intensity of the tagged cell populations in Fig. S3B-T. This data correlates well with the expected expression levels of each gene relative to the others (Fig. S3A), apart from CDH1 and RACGAP1, which are described in the discussion.

      The images in Fig. 2 show tagged populations enriched by FACS so they are non-clonal and are representative of the diversity of the population of tagged cells.

      The images shown in Fig. 3 are representative of the clonal tagged populations. The stability of the tag was not quantified directly. However, the fluorescence intensity was very stable across cells in clonal populations. Since these populations were recovered from a single cell and grown for several weeks, this low variability across cells in a population suggests that these tags are stable.

      The localization of markers, while consistent with expectations, is not validated by a second technique such as antibody staining, and in many cases not even with Hoechst to show nuclear vs cytoplasmic.

      We find that the localization of each protein is distinct and consistent with previous studies. To address this comment, we have added an overlay of the green fluorescence images with brightfield images to better show the location of the tagged protein relative to the nuclei and cytoplasm. We have also added references to other studies that showed the same localization patterns for these proteins in iPSCs and other relevant cell lines.

      For the multi-germ layer differentiation validation, NCAM is also expressed by ectoderm, so isn't a good solo marker for mesoderm as it was used. Indeed, the kit used for the differentiation suggests Brachyury combined with either NCAM or CXCR4, not NCAM alone.

      Since Brachyury is the most common mesodermal marker, we first tested differentiation using anti-Brachyury antibodies, but they did not work well for flow cytometry. We then switched to anti-NCAM antibodies. Since we used a kit for directed differentiation of iPSCs into the mesodermal lineage, NCAM staining should still report for successful differentiation. In the context of mixed differentiation experiments (embryoid body formation or teratoma assay), NCAM would not differentiate between ectoderm and mesoderm. The parental cells (201B7) have also been edited at the AAVS1 locus in multiple other studies, with no effect on their differentiation potential.

      Only a single female parental line has been generated and characterized. It would have been useful to have several lines and both male and female to allow sex differences to be explored.

      We agree that it would be interesting (and important) to study differences in protein localization between female and male cell types, and from different individuals with different genetic backgrounds. We see our tool as opening a door for cell biology to move away from randomly collected, transformed, differentiated cell types to more directed comparative studies of distinct normal cell types. Since few studies of cell biological processes have been done in normal cells, a first step is to understand how processes compare in an isogenic background, then future studies can reveal how they compare with other individuals and sexes. We hope that either our group or others will continue to build similar lines so that these studies can be done.

      The AI-based signal-to-noise enhancement needs more details and testing. Such models can introduce strong assumptions and thus artefacts into the resolved data. Was the model trained on all markers or were multiple models trained on a single marker each? For example, if trained to enhance a single marker (or co-localized group of markers), it could introduce artefacts where it forces signal localization to those areas even for others. What happens if you feed in images with scrambled pixel locations, does it still say the structures are where the training data says they should be? What about markers with different localization from the training set? If you feed those in, does it force them to the location expected by the training data or does it retain their differential true localization and simply enhance the signal?

      The image restoration neural network was used as in Weigert et al., 2018. The model was trained independently for each marker. Each trained model was used only on the corresponding marker and with the same imaging conditions as the training images. From visual inspection, the fluorescent signal in the restored images was consistent with the signal in the raw images, both for interphase and mitotic cells. We found very few artefacts of the restoration (small bright or dark areas) that were discarded. We did not try to restore scrambled images or images of mismatched markers.

      Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      The authors have generated human iPSC cells constitutively expressing the mNG21-10 and tested them by endogenous tagging multiple genes with mNG211 (several tagged iPS cell lines clones were isolated). With this tool, they have explored several weakly expressed cytokinesis genes and gained insights into how cytokinesis occurs.

      Strengths:

      Human iPSC cells are used.

      Weaknesses:

      i) The manuscript is extremely incremental, no improvements are present in the split-fluorescent (split-FP) protein variant used nor in the approach for endogenous tagging with split-FPs (both of them are already very well established and used in literature as well as in different cell types).

      Although split fluorescent proteins and the endogenous tagging methodology had been developed previously, their use in human stem cells has not been explored. We argue that human iPSCs are a valuable model for cell biologists to study cellular processes in differentiating cells in an isogenic context for proper comparison. Many normal human cell types have not been studied at the cellular/subcellular level, and this tool will enable those studies. Importantly, other existing cell lines required transformation to persist in culture and represent a single, differentiated cell type that is not normal. Moreover, the protocols that we developed along with this methodology (e.g. workflows for iPSC clonal isolation that include automated colony screening and Nanopore sequencing) will be useful to other groups undertaking gene editing in human cells. Therefore, we argue that our work opens new doors for future cell biology studies.

      ii) The fluorescence intensity of the split mNeonGreen appears rather low, for example in Figure 2C the H2BC11, ANLN, SOX2, and TUBB3 signals are very noisy (differences between the structures observed are almost absent). For low-expression targets, this is an important limitation. This is also stated by the authors but image restoration could not be the best solution since a lot of biologically relevant information will be lost anyway.

      The split mNeonGreen tag is one of the brighter fluorescent proteins that is available. The low expression that the reviewer refers to for H2BC11, ANLN, TUBB3 and SOX2 is expected based on their predicted expression levels. Further, these images were taken with cells in dishes using lower resolution imaging and were not intended to be used for quantification. As shown in the images in Figures 3H, when using a different microscope with different optical settings and higher magnification, the localization is very clear and quantifiable without needing to use restoration (e.g., compare H2BC11 and ANLN). Using microscopes with high NA objectives, lasers and EMCCD or sCMOS cameras with high sensitivity can sufficiently detect levels of very weakly expressing proteins that can be quantified above background and compared across cells. It is worth noting that each tag may be studied in very different contexts. For example, ANLN will be useful for studies of cytokinesis, while the loss of SOX2 expression and gain of TUBB3 expression may be used to screen for differentiation rather than for localization per se. The reason for endogenous tagging is to study proteins at their native levels rather than using over-expression or fixation with antibodies where artefacts can be introduced. Endogenous tags tag will also enable studies of dynamic changes in localization during differentiation in an isogenic background as described previously.

      Importantly, image restoration is not required to image any of these probes! We use it to demonstrate how a researcher can increase the temporal resolution of imaging weakly-expressed proteins for extended periods of time. This data can be used to compare patterns of localization and reveal how patterns change with time and during differentiation. Imaging with fewer timepoints and altered optical settings will still permit researchers to extract quantifiable information from the raw data without requiring image restoration.

      iii) There is no comparison with other existing split-FP variants, methods, or imaging and it is unclear what the advantages of the system are.

      We are not sure what the reviewer means by this comment. In the future, we plan to incorporate an additional split-FP variant (e.g., split sfCherry) in this iPSC line to enable the imaging of more than one protein in the same cell. However, the split mNeonGreen system is still amenable for use with dyes with different fluorescence spectra that can mark other cellular components, especially for imaging over shorter timespans. In addition to tagging efficiency, the main advantage of split FPs is its scale, as demonstrated by the OpenCell project by tagging 1,310 proteins endogenously (Cho et al., 2022). We developed protocols that facilitate the identification of edited cell lines with high throughput. We also used multiple imaging methods throughout the study that relied on the use of different microscopes and flow cytometry, demonstrating the flexibility of this tagging system. Even for more weakly expressing proteins, the probe could be sufficiently visualized by multiple systems. Such endogenous tags can be used for everything from simply knowing when cells have differentiated (e.g., loss of SOX2 expression, gain of differentiation markers), to studying biological processes over a range of timescales.

      Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The authors report on the engineering of an induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line that harbours a single copy of a split mNeonGreen, mNG2(1-10). This cell line is subsequently used to take endogenous protein with a smaller part of mNeonGreen, mNG2(11), enabling the complementation of mNG into a fluorescent protein that is then used to visualize the protein. The parental cell is validated and used to construct several iPSC lines with endogenously tagged proteins. These are used to visualize and quantify endogenous protein localisation during mitosis.

      I see the advantage of tagging endogenous loci with small fragments, but the complementation strategy has disadvantages that deserve some attention. One potential issue is the level of the mNG2(1-10). Is it clear that the current level is saturating? Based on the data in Figure S3, the expression levels and fluorescence intensity levels show a similar dose-dependency which is reassuring, but not definitive proof that all the mNG2(11)-tagged protein is detected.

      We have not quantified the levels of mNG21-10 expression directly. However, the increase in fluorescence observed with highly expressed proteins (e.g., ACTB) supports that mNG21-10 levels must be sufficiently high to permit differences among endogenous proteins with vastly different expression levels. To ensure high expression, we used a previously validated expression system comprised of the CAG promoter integrated at the AAVS1 locus, which has previously been used to provide high and stable transgene expression (e.g. Oceguera-Yanez et al., 2016). We acknowledge that it is difficult to confirm that all of the endogenous mNG211-tagged protein is ‘detectable’.

      Do the authors see a difference in fluorescence intensity for homo- and heterozygous cell lines that have the same protein tagged with mNG2(11)? One would expect two-fold differences, or not?

      To answer this question, we measured the fluorescence intensity of homozygous and heterozygous clones carrying smNG2-anillin and smNG2-RhoA. We found homozygous clones that were approximately twice as bright as the corresponding heterozygous clones (Fig. S4H and I). This suggests that the complementation between mNG21-10 and mNG211 occurs efficiently over a range of mNG211 expression, since anillin is expressed weakly and RhoA is expressed more strongly in iPSCs. However, we also observed some homozygous clones that were not brighter than the corresponding heterozygous clones, which could be due to undetected byproducts of CRISPR or clonal variation in protein expression.

      Related to this, would it be favourable to have a homozygous line for expressing mNG2(1-10)?

      Our heterozygous cell line leaves the other AAVS1 allele available for integrations of other transgenes for future experiments. While a homozygous line could express more mNG2(1-10), it does not seem to be rate-limiting even with a highly-expressed protein like beta-actin, and we are not sure that it is necessary. The value gained by having the free allele could outweigh the difference in mNG2(1-10) levels.

      The complementation seems to work well for the proteins that are tested. Would this also work for secreted (or other organelle-resident) proteins, for which the mNG2(11) tag is localised in a membrane-enclosed compartment?

      The interaction between the 1-10 and 11 fragments is strong and should be retained when proteins are secreted. It was recently shown that secreted proteins tagged with GFP11 can be detected when interacting with GFP1-10 in the extracellular space, albeit using over-expression (Minegishi et al., 2023). However, in our work, the mNG21-10 fragment is cytosolic and we have only explored proteins localized to the nucleus or the cytoplasm similar to Cho et al., (2022). By GO annotation, 75% of human proteins are present in the cytoplasm and/or nucleus, which still covers a wide range of proteins of interest. Future versions of our line could include incorporating organelle-targeting peptides to drive the large fragment to specific, non-cytosolic locations.

      The authors present a technological advance and it would be great if others could benefit from this as well by having access to the cell lines.

      As discussed below, some of the resources are already available, and we are working to make the mNG21-10 cell line available for distribution.

      Recommendations for the authors:

      Reviewer #2 (Recommendations For The Authors):

      The manuscript is methodological, the main achievement is the generation of a stable iPSC with the split Neon system available for the scientific community. Although it is technically solid, the judgement of this reviewer is that the manuscript should be considered for a more specialised/methodological/resource-based journal.

      Indeed, we have submitted this article under the “tools and resources” category of eLife, which publishes methodology-centered papers of high technical quality. We felt this was a good venue for the audience that it can reach compared to more specialized journals that may be more limited in scope. For example, our system will be a useful resource for cell biologists and they are more likely to see it in eLife compared to more specialized journals.

      Reviewer #3 (Recommendations For The Authors):

      (1) The authors present a technological advance and it would be great if others can benefit from this as well. Therefore access to the materials (and data) would be valuable (the authors do a great job by listing all the repair templates and primers).

      We have added several pieces of data and information to the supplementary materials, as described below.

      For instance:

      What is the (complete/plasmid) sequence of the AAVS1-mNG2(1-10) repair plasmid? Will it be deposited at Addgene?

      The plasmids used in this paper are now available on Addgene, along with their sequences [ID 206042 for pAAVS1-Puro-CAG-mNG2(1-10) and 206043 for pH2B-mNG2(11)].

      The ImageJ code for the detection of colonies is interesting and potentially valuable. Will the code be shared (e.g. at Github, or as supplemental text)?

      The ImageJ macro has been uploaded to the CMCI Github page (https://github.com/CMCI/colony_screening). The parameters are optimized to perform segmentation on images obtained using a Cytation5 microscope with our specific settings, but they can be tweaked for any other sets of images. The following text has been added to the methods section: “The code for this macro is available on Github (https://github.com/CMCI/colony_screening)”.

      The cell line with the mNG2(1-10) as well as other cell lines can be of interest to others. Will the cell lines be made available? If so, can the authors indicate how?

      We are in the process of depositing our cell line in a public repository. This process may take some time for quality control. For now, the cells can be made available by requesting them from the corresponding authors.

      (2) How well does the ImageJ macro for detection of the colonies in the well work? Is there any comparison of analysis by a human vs. the macro?

      In our most recent experiment, the colony screening macro correctly identified 99.5% of wells compared to manual annotation (83/84 positive wells and 108/108 negative wells). For each 96-well plate, imaging takes 25 minutes, and it takes 7 minutes for analysis. Despite a few false negatives, we expect this macro to be useful for large-scale experiments where multiple 96-well plates need to be screened, which would take hours manually.

      (3) The CDH labeling was not readily detected by FACS, but was visible by microscopy. Is the labeling potentially disturbed by the procedure (low extracellular calcium + trypsin?) to prepare the cell for FACS?

      It is not clear why the CDH labelling was not detected by FACS. As the reviewer suggests, there could be several reasons: E-cadherin could be broken down by the dissociation reagent (Accutase), or recycled into the cell following the loss of adhesion and the low extracellular calcium in PBS. However, the C-terminal intracellular tail of E-cadherin was tagged, which should not be affected by Accutase. Moreover, recycling into the cell should still result in a detectable fluorescent signal. Notably, the flow cytometry experiments were done as quickly as possible after dissociation to minimize the time that E-cadherin could be degraded or recycled. We also resuspended the cells in MTeSR Plus media instead of PBS, and compared cells grown on iMatrix511 to those grown on Matrigel in case differences in the extracellular matrix affected Ecadherin expression. Another possibility is that the microscopy used for detection of E-cadherin in cells involved using a sweptfield livescan confocal microscope with high NA objective, 100mW 488nm laser and an EMCCD camera with high sensitivity, and perhaps this combination permitted detection better than the detector on the BD FACSMelody used for FACs.

      (4) The authors write that the "Tubulin was cytosolic during interphase" which is surprising (and see also figure 3H), as I was expecting it to be incorporated in microtubules. May this be an issue of insufficient resolution (if I'm right this was imaged with 20x, NA=0.35 and so the resolution could be improved by imaging at higher NA)?

      Indeed, as the reviewer points out, our terminology (cytosol vs. microtubule) reflects the low resolution of the imaging for the cell populations in dishes and the individual alpha-tubulin monomers being labelled with the mNG211 tag, which are present as cytoplasmic monomers as well as polymers on microtubules. However, even in this image (Fig. 2C), the mitotic spindle microtubules are visible as they are so robust compared to the interphase microtubules. Notably, when we imaged cells from the cloned tagged cell line using a microscope designed for live imaging with a higher NA objective (see above), endogenous tagged TUBA1B was even more clearly visible in spindle microtubules, and was weakly observed in some microtubules in interphase cells, although they are slightly out of focus (Fig. 3H). If we had focused on a lower focal plane where the interphase cells are located and altered the optical settings, we would see more microtubules.

      (5) It would be nice to have access to the Timelapse data as supplemental movies (.e.g from the experiments shown in Figure 4).

      We have added the movies corresponding to the timeplase images as supplementary movies (Movies S1-6), with the raw and restored movies shown side-by-side.

      (6) In Figure 3B, the order of the colors in the bar is reversed relative to the order of the legend. Would it be possible to use the same order? That makes it easier for me (as a colorblind person) to match the colors in the figure with that of the legend.

      We have modified the legend in Fig 2B and 3B to be in the same order as the bars.

    2. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      Summary:

      In this manuscript the authors have applied an asymmetric split mNeonGreen2 (mNG2) system to human iPSCs. By integrating a constitutively expressed long fragment of mNG2 at the AAVS1 locus, this allows other proteins to be tagged through the use of available ssODN donors. This removes the need to generate long AAV donors for tagging, thus greatly facilitating high-throughput tagging efforts. The authors then demonstrate the feasibility of the method by successfully tagging 9 markers expressed in iPSC at various, and one expressed upon endoderm differentiation. Several additional differentiation markers were also successfully tagged but not subsequently tested for expression/visibility. As one might expect for high-throughput tagging, a few proteins, while successfully tagged at the genomic level, failed to be visible. Finally, to demonstrate the utility of the tagged cells, the authors isolated clones with genes relevant to cytokinesis tagged, and together with an AI to enhance signal to noise ratios, monitored their localization over cell division.

      Strengths

      Reviewer Comment: Characterization of the mNG2 tagged parental iPSC line was well and carefully done including validation of a single integration, the presence of markers for continued pluripotency, selected off-target analysis and G-banding-based structural rearrangement detection.<br /> The ability to tag proteins with simple ssODNs in iPSC capable of multi-lineage differentiation will undoubtedly be useful for localization tracking and reporter line generation.<br /> Validation of clone genotypes was carefully performed and highlights the continued need for caution with regards to editing outcomes.

      Weaknesses

      Reviewer Comment: IF and flow cytometry figures lack quantification and information on replication. How consistent is the brightness and localization of the markers? How representative are the specific images? Stability is mentioned in the text but data on the stability of expression/brightness is not shown.

      Author Response: To address this comment, we have quantified the mean fluorescence intensity of the tagged cell populations in Fig. S3B-T. This data correlates well with the expected expression levels of each gene relative to the others (Fig. S3A), apart from CDH1 and RACGAP1, which are described in the discussion.

      Reviewer Reply: Great, thanks.

      Reviewer Comment: The localization of markers, while consistent with expectations, is not validated by a second technique such as antibody staining, and in many cases not even with Hoechst to show nuclear vs cytoplasmic.

      Author Response: We find that the localization of each protein is distinct and consistent with previous studies. To address this comment, we have added an overlay of the green fluorescence images with brightfield images to better show the location of the tagged protein relative to the nuclei and cytoplasm. We have also added references to other studies that showed the same localization patterns for these proteins in iPSCs and other relevant cell lines.

      Reviewer Reply: There was no question that the localization fit with expectations, however, this still doesn't show that in the same cell the tag is in the same spot. It would have been fairly simple to do for at least a handful of markers, image, fix and stain to demonstrate unequivocally the tag and protein are co-localized. Of course, this isn't damning by any means, it just would have been nice.

      Reviewer Comment: For the multi-germ layer differentiation validation, NCAM is also expressed by ectoderm, so isn't a good solo marker for mesoderm as it was used. Indeed, the kit used for the differentiation suggests Brachyury combined with either NCAM or CXCR4, not NCAM alone.

      Author Response: Since Brachyury is the most common mesodermal marker, we first tested differentiation using anti-Brachyury antibodies, but they did not work well for flow cytometry. We then switched to anti-NCAM antibodies. Since we used a kit for directed differentiation of iPSCs into the mesodermal lineage, NCAM staining should still report for successful differentiation. In the context of mixed differentiation experiments (embryoid body formation or teratoma assay), NCAM would not differentiate between ectoderm and mesoderm. The parental cells (201B7) have also been edited at the AAVS1 locus in multiple other studies, with no effect on their differentiation potential.

      Reviewer Reply: This is placing a lot of trust in the kit that it only makes what it says it makes. It could have been measured by options other than flow such as qPCR, Western blot, or imaging, but fine.

      Reviewer Comment: Only a single female parental line has been generated and characterized. It would have been useful to have several lines and both male and female to allow sex differences to be explored.

      Author Response: We agree that it would be interesting (and important) to study differences in protein localization between female and male cell types, and from different individuals with different genetic backgrounds. We see our tool as opening a door for cell biology to move away from randomly collected, transformed, differentiated cell types to more directed comparative studies of distinct normal cell types. Since few studies of cell biological processes have been done in normal cells, a first step is to understand how processes compare in an isogenic background, then future studies can reveal how they compare with other individuals and sexes. We hope that either our group or others will continue to build similar lines so that these studies can be done.

      Reviewer Reply: Fair enough.

      Reviewer Comment: The AI-based signal to noise enhancement needs more details and testing. Such models can introduce strong assumptions and thus artefacts into the resolved data. Was the model trained on all markers or were multiple models trained on a single marker each? For example, if trained to enhance a single marker (or co-localized group of markers), it could introduce artefacts where it forces signal localization to those areas even for others. What happens if you feed in images with scrambled pixel locations, does it still say the structures are where the training data says they should be? What about markers with different localization from the training set. If you feed those in, does it force them to the location expected by the training data or does it retain their differential true localization and simply enhance the signal?

      Author Response: The image restoration neural network was used as in Weigert et al., 2018. The model was trained independently for each marker. Each trained model was used only on the corresponding marker and with the same imaging conditions as the training images. From visual inspection, the fluorescent signal in the restored images was consistent with the signal in the raw images, both for interphase and mitotic cells. We found very few artefacts of the restoration (small bright or dark areas) that were discarded. We did not try to restore scrambled images or images of mismatched markers.

      Reviewer Reply: I understand. What I'm saying is that for the restoration technique to be useful you need to know that it won't introduce artefacts if you have an unexpected localization. Think of it this way, if you already know the localization, then there's no point measuring it. If you don't, or there's a possibility that it is somewhere unexpected, then you need to know with confidence that your algorithm will be able to accurately detect that unexpected localization. As such, it would be extremely important to validate that your restoration algorithm will not bias the results to the expected localization if the true localization is unexpected/not seen in the training dataset. It would have been extremely trivial to run this analysis and I do not feel this comment has been in any way adequately addressed.

    3. Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

      The authors report on the engineering of an induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line that harbours a single copy of a split mNeonGreen, mNG2(1-10). This cell line is subsequently used to take endogenous protein with a smaller part of mNeonGreen, mNG2(11), enabling complementation of mNG into a fluorescent protein that is then used to visualize the protein. The parental cell is validated and used to construct several iPSC line with endogenously tagged proteins. These are used to visualize and quantify endogenous protein localisation during mitosis.

      I see the advantage of tagging endogenous loci with small fragments, but the complementation strategy has disadvantages that deserve some attention. One potential issue is the level of the mNG2(1-10). In addition, this may probably not work for organelle-resident proteins, where the mNG2(11) tag is localised in a membrane enclosed compartment.

      Overall the tools and resources reported in this paper will be valuable for the community that aims to study proteins at endogenous levels.

    1. Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

      This is an interesting study investigating the mechanisms underlying membrane targeting of the NLRP3 inflammasome and reporting a key role for the palmitoylation-depalmitoylation cycle of cys130 in NRLP3. The authors identify ZDHHC3 and APT2 as the specific ZDHHC and APT/ABHD enzymes that are responsible for the s-acylation and de-acylation of NLRP3, respectively. They show that the levels of ZDHHC3 and APT2, both localized at the Golgi, control the level of palmitoylation of NLRP3. The S-acylation-mediated membrane targeting of NLRP3 cooperates with polybasic domain (PBD)-mediated PI4P-binding to target NLRP3 to the TGN under steady-state conditions and to the disassembled TGN induced by the NLRP3 activator nigericin.

      However, the study has several weaknesses in its current form as outlined below.

      (1) The novelty of the findings concerning cys130 palmitoylation in NLRP3 is unfortunately compromised by recent reports on the acylation of different cysteines in NLRP3 (PMID: 38092000), including palmitoylation of the very same cys130 in NLRP3 (Yu et al https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.11.07.566005), which was shown to be relevant for NLRP3 activation in cell and animal models. What remains novel and intriguing is the finding that NLRP3 activators induce an imbalance in the acylation-deacylation cycle by segregating NLRP3 in late Golgi/endosomes from de-acylating enzymes confined in the Golgi. The interesting hypothesis put forward by the authors is that the increased palmitoylation of cys130 would finally contribute to the activation of NLRP3. However, the authors should clarify the trafficking pathway of acylated-NLRP3. This pathway should, in principle, coincide with that of TGN46 which constitutively recycles from the TGN to the plasma membrane and is trapped in endosomes upon treatment with nigericin.

      (2) To affect the S-acylation, the authors used 16 hrs treatment with 2-bromopalmitate (2-BP). In Figure 1f, it is quite clear that NLRP3 in 2-BP treated cells completely redistributed in spots dispersed throughout the cells upon nigericin treatment. What is the Golgi like in those cells? In other words, does 2-BP alter/affect Golgi morphology? What about PI4P levels after 2-BP treatment? These are important missing pieces of data since both the localization of many proteins and the activity of one key PI4K in the Golgi (i.e. PI4KIIalpha) are regulated by palmitoylation.

      (3) The authors argue that the spots observed with NLRP-GFP result from non-specific effects mediated by the addition of the GFP tag to the NLRP3 protein. However, puncta are visible upon nigericin treatment, as a hallmark of endosomal activation. How do the authors reconcile these data? Along the same lines, the NLRP3-C130S mutant behaves similarly to wt NLRP3 upon 2-BP treatment (Figure 1h). Are those NLRP3-C130S puncta positive for endosomal markers? Are they still positive for TGN46? Are they positive for PI4P?

      (4) The authors expressed the minimal NLRP3 region to identify the domain required for NLRP3 Golgi localization. These experiments were performed in control cells. It might be informative to perform the same experiments upon nigericin treatment to investigate the ability of NLRP3 to recognize activating signals. It has been reported that PI4P increases on Golgi and endosomes upon NG treatment. Hence, all the differences between the domains may be lost or preserved. In parallel, also the timing of such recruitment upon nigericin treatment (early or late event) may be informative for the dynamics of the process and of the contribution of the single protein domains.

      (5) As noted above for the chemical inhibitors (1) the authors should check the impact of altering the balance between acyl transferase and de-acylases on the Golgi organization and PI4P levels. What is the effect of overexpressing PATs on Golgi functions?

    1. zum vergleich wärs interessant, wie hart die in MINT fächern abkackt, also bei den exakten wissenschaften, wo man richtig und falsch exakt messen kann. bei den schwätzer-"wissenschaften" gehts den ganzen tag nur um hypothesen, die nie überprüft werden...

    1. 6:15 "born this way" versus "soziales konstrukt" ... nature versus nurture.<br /> siehe auch: calhoun experiments on overpopulation, universe 25, 1958<br /> bei übervölkerung sieht man in städten (in zentren) "dekadenz" und "sittenverfall" ...<br /> also aggression, homosexualität, kaputte familien (mütter lassen ihre kinder verhungern), ...<br /> und am rand der städte sieht man "the beautiful ones" (aussteiger, einsiedler, einzelgänger)<br /> die komplett alleine bleiben, und den ganzen tag ihr fell pflegen.<br /> (die beautiful ones sind die führer, avantgarde, pioniere, ... die einen neuen lebensraum suchen wollen,<br /> aber die am rand vom mauskäfig blockiert werden)

    1. Book Summary:PART 1: FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN HANDLING PEOPLEPrinciple 1: Don't Criticise, Condemn or ComplainCriticism is futile, it makes the other person strive to justify himselfCriticism doesn't correct a situationWhen you give a person criticism, they will never make lasting changes in the things you criticised them forDon't criticise anyone; "they are just what we would be in similar circumstances"📝Action Step: Ponder and journal on all the instances when you criticised someone on something they valued or were making progress in (e.g. studies, business, sport). Journal on why you said that, really get to the roots of your beliefs. Go and message the person you criticised and tell them you're sorry. Next time don't criticise ANYONE."Don't complain about the snow on your neighbour's roof, when your own is unclean"🤔Action Step: Think of all the times when you complained in the last week or so. Write it down/type it out, then write next to the complain, what an alternative for the complain could be. Next time NEVER complain."I will speak ill of no man ... and speak all the good I know of everybody"Principle 2: Give Honest And Sincere AppreciationHumans all want to have the feeling of importance in societyAndrew Carnegie praised his associates publicly and privately to handle them better"Don't be afraid of enemies that attack you, be afraid of friends that flatter you"If someone makes a mistake, don't condemn them, appreciate their good points, and reward them through praise🗣️Action Step: The next time you see someone making progress or working really hard, go and give them a compliment (give them honest and sincere appreciation) - Go to AG wins and comment on a win —> DO THIS RN OR YOUR A JEFFREY"Every man I meet is superior to me in some way, in that way I learn of him"Principle 3: Arouse In The Other Person An Eager WantThe only way to influence other is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it💡Action Step: The next time you come across a situation where you have to make someone do something under your responsibility/leadership, ponder for a second, "How can I make this person want to do it?", really get into their shoes - journal/ponder on it, then apply it to the person in real life — or, if you sell a product, ask yourself, "How can I make this person want to buy it?", use the feedback and apply it"If there's a secret to success, it's the ability to get into the POV of the other person and see thingsPART 2: 6 WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOUPrinciple 1: Be Genuinely Interested In The Other PersonYou can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in others, than you can in 2 years by being interested in yourselfMake yourself do things for others — things that require time, thoughtfulness/unselfishness😢Action Step: Whenever you see someone that is in need of help in their life, or is struggling, go and give them advice. Be genuinely interested in helping them improve rather than helping yourself —> Do this in AG right NOW."We are interested in others when they are interested in us"Principle 2: SmileWhat one wears on one's face is far more important that the clothes on one's backHappiness doesn't depend on outer conditions, it depends on inner conditions😀Action Step: Start SMILING RIGHT NOW, Literally, Just put a smirk on your face and wear it for the rest of the day (see how people respond to it)"There is nothing good or bad, it is thinking that makes it so"Principle 3: Remember A Person's Name To That Person Is The Sweetest Sound🤝Action Step: Whenever you meet someone new, find out their complete name and associate it with an image in your headYour name to you is more important than 1000 other names of othersPrinciple 4: Be A Good Listener, Encourage Others To TalkListening is one of the highest compliments we can pay to anybodyGood conversationalist = Good Listener (be attentive)To be interesting, be interested🗣️Action Step: The next time you socialise with someone, make them to 80% of the talk, ask them open-ended questions, and let them freely answer (follow the 80/20 principle)Principle 5: Talk In Terms Of The Other Persons Interest💡Action Step: When talking to someone else, talk about something that they're interested in (e.g. self-improvement, sports), then let the conservation freely flow on that topic, pick their brain on that topic, ask them questionsPrinciple 6: Make The Other Person Feel Appreciated And ImportantAlways make the other person feel appreciated and importantUse phrases like, "I'm sorry to trouble you", "Would you be kind as to ____", "Would you mind"🤷‍♂️Action Step: The next time you have to call someone, or tell someone to move, use of the phrases abovePART 3: HOW TO WIN PEOPLE TO YOUR WAY OF THINKINGPrinciple 1: The Only Way To Get The Best Out Of An Argument Is To Avoid It, You Can't WinWhy argue?"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still""Hatred is never ended by hatred, but by love"😠Action Step: The next time you're talking to someone and you notice them starting to escalate into an argument, end it right there by showing love (e.g. give them a compliment, express gratitude)Principle 2: Show Respect For The Other's Opinion, Never Say "You're Wrong"If you're going to prove something, don't let anyone know it"Be wiser than other person if you can, but do not tell them so"If someone says something wrong say, "I thought otherwise", "I may be wrong ____"Telling someone directly that they're wrong can cause a lot of damage💬Action Step: When you're in a discussion with someone, let's say one of your JEFFREY friends at school, he says Junk FOOD is fine, instead of saying "you're wrong", use one of the phrases above, repeat in a much friendlier tonePrinciple 3: If You Are Wrong, Admit Quickly And EmphaticallyAdmit quickly that the other person is right and you are wrong in a friendly toneYou need to have courage to have the ability to criticise yourself🤨Action Step: The next time you find yourself having made a mistake in front of others, admit it straight away in a friendly manner. Make sure you don't cause damage to others while doing so.Principle 4: Begin In A Friendly Way"A drop of honey catches more flies than gallon of gall"Always begin the conversation in a friendly manner and friendly tone💭Action Step: The next time you have a conversation with someone, start the conversation with a positive vibe, and friendly tone.Principle 5: Get The Other Person Saying "Yes" "Yes" ImmediatelyDon't start a convo with things you differ from, start with things you agree onAt all costs, keep the person from saying "no" at the startIt is much more profitable to set things from the other person's view point and make them say "yes"🙌Action Step: After bringing the positive vibe to the conversation, start talking about things you agree on to the other person, and ask them questions which deliberately provoke a "yes" response. Brainstorm a little on this in your brain before proceeding the person.Principle 6: Let The Other Person Do A Great Deal Of The TalkingEncourage them to talk, if you disagree, hold silent, listen with an open mind"If you want enemies, excel your friends; if you want friends; let your friends excel you" - keep quiet about your accomplishments, don't talk about them, unless somebody asks🏆Action Step: Follow the 80/20 rule when talking in convo, only talk about the other person, their interests, don't show off in the conversation to look cool (e.g. saying you earn $10k/m online), keep quiet, remain humble in the conversationPrinciple 7: Let The Other Person Feel The Idea Is TheirsMaking someone feel that the idea is theirs is like giving them a compliment💡Action Step: The next time you come up with a great idea and you implement it, and it gives your reasonable success, thank the friend that helped you generate the idea (e.g. tag someone in AG because they helped you start a profitable business)Principle 8: Try Honestly To See Things From The Other Person's POVPeople may be totally wrong, but don't condemn them, try to understand them, their situation🧐Action Step: The next time you're in a conversation, and someone has said something that is completely wrong, and you thought to yourself "why did he/she say that!" - empathise their situation and see things from their POV (e.g. say to yourself, "I would've done the same if I was in that situation)Principle 9: Be Sympathetic With The Other Persons's POV3/4 of people which you meet crave sympathy, go give it to themPut yourself in the shoes of the other person at the start of a conversation, or deal😊Action Step: Another tip to just keep at the back of your head is to see things from the other person's POV, have sympathy for the situation their own. Really put your shoes in the other person, make yourself feel that you're the other person, see things from a new REALITY.Principle 10: Appeal To The Nobler MotivesAlways choose a nobler motive when you assume something about othersBe the kind of leader who appeals to what really matters and, even when the feedback is tough, reminds people why they're really therePrinciple 11: Dramatise Your IdeasTruth isn't enough, the truth has to be made vivid, interesting dramatic🕺Action Steps💡Make your ideas more obvious, interesting, and vivid to peopleUse drama and showmanship to capture attention and imagination to make your ideas more impressiveWhen presenting an idea, make it more exciting than it really isPrinciple 12: Throw Down A Challenge"The way to get things done is to throw down a competition"🥵Action Step: When you're doing something that many others are doing (e.g. participating in a challenge), ask someone participating and throw down a challenge to them (e.g. whoever finishes the challenge first wins)PART 4: BE A LEADER - HOW TO CHANGE PEOPLE WITHOUT GIVING OFFENCEPrinciple 1: Begin With Praise And Honest AppreciationAppreciate the person first before bringing up your problem for resolution🗣️Action Steps:e.g. if someone did a random act of kindness for youTell the person that you appreciate the actTell them how it made you feel goodCongratulate and tell them that it was beyond expectationsPrinciple 2: Call Attention To People's Mistakes IndirectlyWhen indirectly criticising someone, never use the word "but", use "and" insteadThis technique works well for sensitive people who resent criticism💭Action Step: Praise a quality, and also a quality that you want to see the improvement in of someone else (e.g. if someone doesn't keep his house clean, say, "I appreciate the effort you put in to make the house clean")Principle 3: Talk About Your Own Mistakes Before Criticising The Other PersonTalk about your own shortcomings, before judging someone (e.g. asking them to improve)😆Action Step: If again you want to see a direct improvement in someone, before telling them, talk about your own mistakes in that area you want to see improvement in from the other person, tell them a joke about you, a story about the mistakes you madePrinciple 4: Ask Questions Instead Of Giving Direct OrdersAlways give people the opportunity to do things by themselves through questionsResentment is caused by a brash order that may last a long time😤Action Step: When you need something done by someone else, don't give them a direct order. Give the person an opportunity to do things by asking questions (questions must be relevant to the task that you need done)Principle 5: Let The Other Person Save FaeFinding faults in the other person will make them resent you❌Action Step: Instead of directly pointing out the faults in the other person, let them save face and find their own mistakes (or point it out indirectly)Principle 6: Praise The Slightest Improvement, And Praise Every ImprovementFaults start to disappear after you give praise😊Action Step: When you see someone making progress, or you see growth, praise them on their hard work, and praise the improvementPrinciple 7: Give The Other Person A Fine Reputation To Live Up To💡Action Step: If you want to improve a person in a certain area, act as though that trait was already one of his or her outstanding characteristics (e.g. make it seem as if they already have that trait)Principle 8: Use Encouragement, Make The Fault Seem Easy To CorrectLet the other person know that you have faith in their ability to performa task💪🏿Action Step: When you see a fault, and they're trying their best to fix it, let them know that you have full faith in themPrinciple 9: Make The Other Person Happy About Doing The Thing You SuggestGive some reward for performing what you want to the other person, and take away a little for something which they do not doRules for making other person happy about thing you suggest:Be sincere, do not promise anything you can't deliverKnow exactly what it is you want the other person to doBe empathetic, ask yourself what it is the other person really wantsConsider the benefits the person will receive from doing what you suggestMatch those benefits to the other person's wantsWhen you make your request, put in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit from

      how to win friends and influence people summary

    1. since we would need to tag the recoiling B candidate forthat, causing further loss in efficiency on top of the smallsignal yield.

      这为什么会造成信号的损失

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    1. Author Response

      The following is the authors’ response to the original reviews.

      Public Comments

      Reviewer 1

      (1) Despite the well-established role of Netrin-1 and UNC5C axon guidance during embryonic commissural axons, it remains unclear which cell type(s) express Netrin-1 or UNC5C in the dopaminergic axons and their targets. For instance, the data in Figure 1F-G and Figure 2 are quite confusing. Does Netrin-1 or UNC5C express in all cell types or only dopamine-positive neurons in these two mouse models? It will also be important to provide quantitative assessments of UNC5C expression in dopaminergic axons at different ages.

      Netrin-1 is a secreted protein and in this manuscript we did not examine what cell types express Netrin-1. This question is not the focus of the study and we consider it irrelevant to the main issue we are addressing, which is where in the forebrain regions we examined Netrin-1+ cells are present. As per the reviewer’s request we include below images showing Netrin-1 protein and Netrin-1 mRNA expression in the forebrain. In Figure 1 below, we show a high magnification immunofluorescent image of a coronal forebrain section showing Netrin-1 protein expression.

      Author response image 1.

      This confocal microscope image shows immunofluorescent staining for Netrin-1 (green) localized around cell nuclei (stained by DAPI in blue). This image was taken from a coronal section of the lateral septum of an adult male mouse. Scale bar = 20µm

      In Figures 2 and 3 below we show low and high magnification images from an RNAscope experiment confirming that cells in the forebrain regions examined express Netrin-1 mRNA.

      Author response image 2.

      This confocal microscope image of a coronal brain section of the medial prefrontal cortex of an adult male mouse shows Netrin-1 mRNA expression (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI, blue). Brain regions are as follows: Cg1: Anterior cingulate cortex 1, DP: dorsopeduncular cortex, fmi: forceps minor of the corpus callosum, IL: Infralimbic Cortex, PrL: Prelimbic Cortex

      Author response image 3.

      A higher resolution image from the same sample as in Figure 2 shows Netrin-1 mRNA (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI; blue). DP = dorsopeduncular cortex

      Regarding UNC5c, this receptor homologue is expressed by dopamine neurons in the rodent ventral tegmental area (Daubaras et al., 2014; Manitt et al., 2010; Phillips et al., 2022). This does not preclude UNC5c expression in other cell types. UNC5c receptors are ubiquitously expressed in the brain throughout development, performing many different developmental functions (Kim and Ackerman, 2011; Murcia-Belmonte et al., 2019; Srivatsa et al., 2014). In this study we are interested in UNC5c expression by dopamine neurons, and particularly by their axons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. We therefore used immunofluorescent staining in the nucleus accumbens, showing UNC5 expression in TH+ axons. This work adds to the study by Manitt et al., 2010, which examined UNC5 expression in the VTA. Manitt et al. used Western blotting to demonstrate that UNC5 expression in VTA dopamine neurons increases during adolescence, as can be seen in the following figure:

       References:
      

      Daubaras M, Bo GD, Flores C. 2014. Target-dependent expression of the netrin-1 receptor, UNC5C, in projection neurons of the ventral tegmental area. Neuroscience 260:36–46. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.12.007

      Kim D, Ackerman SL. 2011. The UNC5C Netrin Receptor Regulates Dorsal Guidance of Mouse Hindbrain Axons. J Neurosci 31:2167–2179. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.5254-10.20110.2011

      Manitt C, Labelle-Dumais C, Eng C, Grant A, Mimee A, Stroh T, Flores C. 2010. Peri-Pubertal Emergence of UNC-5 Homologue Expression by Dopamine Neurons in Rodents. PLoS ONE 5:e11463-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011463

      Murcia-Belmonte V, Coca Y, Vegar C, Negueruela S, Romero C de J, Valiño AJ, Sala S, DaSilva R, Kania A, Borrell V, Martinez LM, Erskine L, Herrera E. 2019. A Retino-retinal Projection Guided by Unc5c Emerged in Species with Retinal Waves. Current Biology 29:1149-1160.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.052

      Phillips RA, Tuscher JJ, Black SL, Andraka E, Fitzgerald ND, Ianov L, Day JJ. 2022. An atlas of transcriptionally defined cell populations in the rat ventral tegmental area. Cell Reports 39:110616. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110616

      Srivatsa S, Parthasarathy S, Britanova O, Bormuth I, Donahoo A-L, Ackerman SL, Richards LJ, Tarabykin V. 2014. Unc5C and DCC act downstream of Ctip2 and Satb2 and contribute to corpus callosum formation. Nat Commun 5:3708. doi:10.1038/ncomms4708

      (2) Figure 1 used shRNA to knockdown Netrin-1 in the Septum and these mice were subjected to behavioral testing. These results, again, are not supported by any valid data that the knockdown approach actually worked in dopaminergic axons. It is also unclear whether knocking down Netrin-1 in the septum will re-route dopaminergic axons or lead to cell death in the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta?

      First we want to clarify and emphasize, that our knockdown approach was not designed to knock down Netrin-1 in dopamine neurons or their axons. Our goal was to knock down Netrin-1 expression in cells expressing this guidance cue gene in the dorsal peduncular cortex.

      We have previously established the efficacy of the shRNA Netrin-1 knockdown virus used in this experiment for reducing the expression of Netrin-1 (Cuesta et al., 2020). The shRNA reduces Netrin-1 levels in vitro and in vivo.

      We agree that our experiments do not address the fate of the dopamine axons that are misrouted away from the medial prefrontal cortex. This research is ongoing, and we have now added a note regarding this to our manuscript.

      Our current hypothesis, based on experiments being conducted as part of another line of research in the lab, is that these axons are rerouted to a different brain region which they then ectopically innervate. In these experiments we are finding that male mice exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence show reduced dopamine innervation in the medial prefrontal cortex in adulthood but increased dopamine input in the orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, these mice show increased action impulsivity in the Go/No-Go task in adulthood (Capolicchio et al., Society for Neuroscience 2023 Abstracts)

      References:

      Capolicchio T., Hernandez, G., Dube, E., Estrada, K., Giroux, M., Flores, C. (2023) Divergent outcomes of delta 9 - tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence on dopamine and cognitive development in male and female mice. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, United States [abstract].

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      (3) Another issue with Figure1J. It is unclear whether the viruses were injected into a WT mouse model or into a Cre-mouse model driven by a promoter specifically expresses in dorsal peduncular cortex? The authors should provide evidence that Netrin-1 mRNA and proteins are indeed significantly reduced. The authors should address the anatomic results of the area of virus diffusion to confirm the virus specifically infected the cells in dorsal peduncular cortex.

      All the virus knockdown experiments were conducted in wild type mice, we added this information to Figure 1k.

      The efficacy of the shRNA in knocking down Netrin-1 was demonstrated by Cuesta et al. (2020) both in vitro and in vivo, as we show in our response to the reviewer’s previous comment above.

      We also now provide anatomical images demonstrating the localization of the injection and area of virus diffusion in the mouse forebrain. In Author response image 4 below the area of virus diffusion is visible as green fluorescent signal.

      Author response image 4.

      Fluorescent microscopy image of a mouse forebrain demonstrating the localization of the injection of a virus to knock down Netrin-1. The location of the virus is in green, while cell nuclei are in blue (DAPI). Abbreviations: DP: dorsopeduncular cortex IL: infralimbic cortex

      References:

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      (4) The authors need to provide information regarding the efficiency and duration of knocking down. For instance, in Figure 1K, the mice were tested after 53 days post injection, can the virus activity in the brain last for such a long time?

      In our study we are interested in the role of Netrin-1 expression in the guidance of dopamine axons from the nucleus accumbens to the medial prefrontal cortex. The critical window for these axons leaving the nucleus accumbens and growing to the cortex is early adolescence (Reynolds et al., 2018b). This is why we injected the virus at the onset of adolescence, at postnatal day 21. As dopamine axons grow from the nucleus accumbens to the prefrontal cortex, they pass through the dorsal peduncular cortex. We disrupted Netrin-1 expression at this point along their route to determine whether it is the Netrin-1 present along their route that guides these axons to the prefrontal cortex. We hypothesized that the shRNA Netrin-1 virus would disrupt the growth of the dopamine axons, reducing the number of axons that reach the prefrontal cortex and therefore the number of axons that innervate this region in adulthood.

      We conducted our behavioural tests during adulthood, after the critical window during which dopamine axon growth occurs, so as to observe the enduring behavioral consequences of this misrouting. This experimental approach is designed for the shRNa Netrin-1 virus to be expressed in cells in the dorsopeduncular cortex when the dopamine axons are growing, during adolescence.

       References:
      

      Capolicchio T., Hernandez, G., Dube, E., Estrada, K., Giroux, M., Flores, C. (2023) Divergent outcomes of delta 9 - tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence on dopamine and cognitive development in male and female mice. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, United States [abstract].

      Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette M-P, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018b. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

      (5) In Figure 1N-Q, silencing Netrin-1 results in less DA axons targeting to infralimbic cortex, but why the Netrin-1 knocking down mice revealed the improved behavior?

      This is indeed an intriguing finding, and we have now added a mention of it to our manuscript. We have demonstrated that misrouting dopamine axons away from the medial prefrontal cortex during adolescence alters behaviour, but why this improves their action impulsivity ability is something currently unknown to us. One potential answer is that the dopamine axons are misrouted to a different brain region that is also involved in controlling impulsive behaviour, perhaps the dorsal striatum (Kim and Im, 2019) or the orbital prefrontal cortex (Jonker et al., 2015).

      We would also like to note that we are finding that other manipulations that appear to reroute dopamine axons to unintended targets can lead to reduced action impulsivity as measured using the Go No Go task. As we mentioned above, current experiments in the lab, which are part of a different line of research, are showing that male mice exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence show reduced dopamine innervation in the medial prefrontal cortex in adulthood, but increased dopamine input in the orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, these mice show increased action impulsivity in the Go/No-Go task in adulthood (Capolicchio et al., Society for Neuroscience 2023 Abstracts)

      References

      Capolicchio T., Hernandez, G., Dube, E., Estrada, K., Giroux, M., Flores, C. (2023) Divergent outcomes of delta 9 - tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence on dopamine and cognitive development in male and female mice. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, United States [abstract].

      Jonker FA, Jonker C, Scheltens P, Scherder EJA. 2015. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in cognition and behavior. Rev Neurosci 26:1–11. doi:10.1515/revneuro2014-0043 Kim B, Im H. 2019. The role of the dorsal striatum in choice impulsivity. Ann N York Acad Sci 1451:92–111. doi:10.1111/nyas.13961

      (6) What is the effect of knocking down UNC5C on dopamine axons guidance to the cortex?

      We have found that mice that are heterozygous for a nonsense Unc5c mutation, and as a result have reduced levels of UNC5c protein, show reduced amphetamine-induced locomotion and stereotypy (Auger et al., 2013). In the same manuscript we show that this effect only emerges during adolescence, in concert with the growth of dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex. This is indirect but strong evidence that UNC5c receptors are necessary for correct adolescent dopamine axon development.

      References

      Auger ML, Schmidt ERE, Manitt C, Dal-Bo G, Pasterkamp RJ, Flores C. 2013. unc5c haploinsufficient phenotype: striking similarities with the dcc haploinsufficiency model. European Journal of Neuroscience 38:2853–2863. doi:10.1111/ejn.12270

      (7) In Figures 2-4, the authors only showed the amount of DA axons and UNC5C in NAcc. However, it remains unclear whether these experiments also impact the projections of dopaminergic axons to other brain regions, critical for the behavioral phenotypes. What about other brain regions such as prefrontal cortex? Do the projection of DA axons and UNC5c level in cortex have similar pattern to those in NAcc?

      UNC5c receptors are expressed throughout development and are involved in many developmental processes (Kim and Ackerman, 2011; Murcia-Belmonte et al., 2019; Srivatsa et al., 2014). We cannot say whether the pattern we observe here is unique to the nucleus accumbens, but it is certainly not universal throughout the brain.

      The brain region we focus on in our manuscript, in addition to the nucleus accumbens, is the medial prefrontal cortex. Close and thorough examination of the prefrontal cortices of adult mice revealed practically no UNC5c expression by dopamine axons. However, we did observe very rare cases of dopamine axons expressing UNC5c. It is not clear whether these rare cases are present before or during adolescence.

      Below is a representative set of images of this observation, which is now also included as Supplementary Figure 4:

      Author response image 5.

      Expression of UNC5c protein in the medial prefrontal cortex of an adult male mouse. Low (A) and high (B) magnification images demonstrate that there is little UNC5c expression in dopamine axons in the medial prefrontal cortex. Here we identify dopamine axons by immunofluorescent staining for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, see our response to comment #9 regarding the specificity of the TH antibody for dopamine axons in the prefrontal cortex). This figure is also included as Supplementary Figure 4 in the manuscript. Abbreviations: fmi: forceps minor of the corpus callosum, mPFC: medial prefrontal cortex.

      References:

      Kim D, Ackerman SL. 2011. The UNC5C Netrin Receptor Regulates Dorsal Guidance of Mouse Hindbrain Axons. J Neurosci 31:2167–2179. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.5254- 10.20110.2011

      Murcia-Belmonte V, Coca Y, Vegar C, Negueruela S, Romero C de J, Valiño AJ, Sala S, DaSilva R, Kania A, Borrell V, Martinez LM, Erskine L, Herrera E. 2019. A Retino-retinal Projection Guided by Unc5c Emerged in Species with Retinal Waves. Current Biology 29:1149-1160.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.052

      Srivatsa S, Parthasarathy S, Britanova O, Bormuth I, Donahoo A-L, Ackerman SL, Richards LJ, Tarabykin V. 2014. Unc5C and DCC act downstream of Ctip2 and Satb2 and contribute to corpus callosum formation. Nat Commun 5:3708. doi:10.1038/ncomms4708

      (8) Can overexpression of UNC5c or Netrin-1 in male winter hamsters mimic the observations in summer hamsters? Or overexpression of UNC5c in female summer hamsters to mimic the winter hamster? This would be helpful to confirm the causal role of UNC5C in guiding DA axons during adolescence.

      This is an excellent question. We are very interested in both increasing and decreasing UNC5c expression in hamster dopamine axons to see if we can directly manipulate summer hamsters into winter hamsters and vice versa. We are currently exploring virus-based approaches to design these experiments and are excited for results in this area.

      (9) The entire study relied on using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as a marker for dopaminergic axons. However, the expression of TH (either by IHC or IF) can be influenced by other environmental factors, that could alter the expression of TH at the cellular level.

      This is an excellent point that we now carefully address in our methods by adding the following:

      In this study we pay great attention to the morphology and localization of the fibres from which we quantify varicosities to avoid counting any fibres stained with TH antibodies that are not dopamine fibres. The fibres that we examine and that are labelled by the TH antibody show features indistinguishable from the classic features of cortical dopamine axons in rodents (Berger et al., 1974; 1983; Van Eden et al., 1987; Manitt et al., 2011), namely they are thin fibres with irregularly-spaced varicosities, are densely packed in the nucleus accumbens, sparsely present only in the deep layers of the prefrontal cortex, and are not regularly oriented in relation to the pial surface. This is in contrast to rodent norepinephrine fibres, which are smooth or beaded in appearance, relatively thick with regularly spaced varicosities, increase in density towards the shallow cortical layers, and are in large part oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the pial surface (Berger et al., 1974; Levitt and Moore, 1979; Berger et al., 1983; Miner et al., 2003). Furthermore, previous studies in rodents have noted that only norepinephrine cell bodies are detectable using immunofluorescence for TH, not norepinephrine processes (Pickel et al., 1975; Verney et al., 1982; Miner et al., 2003), and we did not observe any norepinephrine-like fibres.

      Furthermore, we are not aware of any other processes in the forebrain that are known to be immunopositive for TH under any environmental conditions.

      To reduce confusion, we have replaced the abbreviation for dopamine – DA – with TH in the relevant panels in Figures 1, 2, 3, and 4 to clarify exactly what is represented in these images. As can be seen in these images, fluorescent green labelling is present only in axons, which is to be expected of dopamine labelling in these forebrain regions.

      References:

      Berger B, Tassin JP, Blanc G, Moyne MA, Thierry AM (1974) Histochemical confirmation for dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex after destruction of the noradrenergic ascending pathways. Brain Res 81:332–337.

      Berger B, Verney C, Gay M, Vigny A (1983) Immunocytochemical Characterization of the Dopaminergic and Noradrenergic Innervation of the Rat Neocortex During Early Ontogeny. In: Proceedings of the 9th Meeting of the International Neurobiology Society, pp 263–267 Progress in Brain Research. Elsevier.

      Levitt P, Moore RY (1979) Development of the noradrenergic innervation of neocortex. Brain Res 162:243–259.

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C (2011) The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394.

      Miner LH, Schroeter S, Blakely RD, Sesack SR (2003) Ultrastructural localization of the norepinephrine transporter in superficial and deep layers of the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and its spatial relationship to probable dopamine terminals. J Comp Neurol 466:478–494.

      Pickel VM, Joh TH, Field PM, Becker CG, Reis DJ (1975) Cellular localization of tyrosine hydroxylase by immunohistochemistry. J Histochem Cytochem 23:1–12.

      Van Eden CG, Hoorneman EM, Buijs RM, Matthijssen MA, Geffard M, Uylings HBM (1987) Immunocytochemical localization of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the rat at the light and electron microscopical level. Neurosci 22:849–862.

      Verney C, Berger B, Adrien J, Vigny A, Gay M (1982) Development of the dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex. A light microscopic immunocytochemical study using anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibodies. Dev Brain Res 5:41–52.

      (10) Are Netrin-1/UNC5C the only signal guiding dopamine axon during adolescence? Are there other neuronal circuits involved in this process?

      Our intention for this study was to examine the role of Netrin-1 and its receptor UNC5C specifically, but we do not suggest that they are the only molecules to play a role. The process of guiding growing dopamine axons during adolescence is likely complex and we expect other guidance mechanisms to also be involved. From our previous work we know that the Netrin-1 receptor DCC is critical in this process (Hoops and Flores, 2017; Reynolds et al., 2023). Several other molecules have been identified in Netrin-1/DCC signaling processes that control corpus callosum development and there is every possibility that the same or similar molecules may be important in guiding dopamine axons (Schlienger et al., 2023).

      References:

      Hoops D, Flores C. 2017. Making Dopamine Connections in Adolescence. Trends in Neurosciences 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.09.004

      Reynolds LM, Hernandez G, MacGowan D, Popescu C, Nouel D, Cuesta S, Burke S, Savell KE, Zhao J, Restrepo-Lozano JM, Giroux M, Israel S, Orsini T, He S, Wodzinski M, Avramescu RG, Pokinko M, Epelbaum JG, Niu Z, Pantoja-Urbán AH, Trudeau L-É, Kolb B, Day JJ, Flores C. 2023. Amphetamine disrupts dopamine axon growth in adolescence by a sex-specific mechanism in mice. Nat Commun 14:4035. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-39665-1

      Schlienger S, Yam PT, Balekoglu N, Ducuing H, Michaud J-F, Makihara S, Kramer DK, Chen B, Fasano A, Berardelli A, Hamdan FF, Rouleau GA, Srour M, Charron F. 2023. Genetics of mirror movements identifies a multifunctional complex required for Netrin-1 guidance and lateralization of motor control. Sci Adv 9:eadd5501. doi:10.1126/sciadv.add5501

      (11) Finally, despite the authors' claim that the dopaminergic axon project is sensitive to the duration of daylight in the hamster, they never provided definitive evidence to support this hypothesis.

      By “definitive evidence” we think that the reviewer is requesting a single statistical model including measures from both the summer and winter groups. Such a model would provide a probability estimate of whether dopamine axon growth is sensitive to daylight duration. Therefore, we ran these models, one for male hamsters and one for female hamsters.

      In both sexes we find a significant effect of daylength on dopamine innervation, interacting with age. Male age by daylength interaction: F = 6.383, p = 0.00242. Female age by daylength interaction: F = 21.872, p = 1.97 x 10-9. The full statistical analysis is available as a supplement to this letter (Response_Letter_Stats_Details.docx).

      Reviewer 3

      (1) Fig 1 A and B don't appear to be the same section level.

      The reviewer is correct that Fig 1B is anterior to Fig 1A. We have changed Figure 1A to match the section level of Figure 1B.

      (2) Fig 1C. It is not clear that these axons are crossing from the shell of the NAC.

      We have added a dashed line to Figure 1C to highlight the boundary of the nucleus accumbens, which hopefully emphasizes that there are fibres crossing the boundary. We also include here an enlarged image of this panel:

      Author response image 6.

      An enlarged image of Figure1c in the manuscript. The nucleus accumbens (left of the dotted line) is densely packed with TH+ axons (in green). Some of these TH+ axons can be observed extending from the nucleus accumbens medially towards a region containing dorsally oriented TH+ fibres (white arrows).

      (3) Fig 1. Measuring width of the bundle is an odd way to measure DA axon numbers. First the width could be changing during adult for various reasons including change in brain size. Second, I wouldn't consider these axons in a traditional bundle. Third, could DA axon counts be provided, rather than these proxy measures.

      With regards to potential changes in brain size, we agree that this could have potentially explained the increased width of the dopamine axon pathway. That is why it was important for us to use stereology to measure the density of dopamine axons within the pathway. If the width increased but no new axons grew along the pathway, we would have seen a decrease in axon density from adolescence to adulthood. Instead, our results show that the density of axons remained constant.

      We agree with the reviewer that the dopamine axons do not form a traditional “bundle”. Therefore, throughout the manuscript we now avoid using the term bundle.

      Although we cannot count every single axon, an accurate estimate of this number can be obtained using stereology, an unbiassed method for efficiently quantifying large, irregularly distributed objects. We used stereology to count TH+ axons in an unbiased subset of the total area occupied by these axons. Unbiased stereology is the gold-standard technique for estimating populations of anatomical objects, such as axons, that are so numerous that it would be impractical or impossible to measure every single one. Here and elsewhere we generally provide results as densities and areas of occupancy (Reynolds et al., 2022). To avoid confusion, we now clarify that we are counting the width of the area that dopamine axons occupy (rather than the dopamine axon “bundle”).

      References:

      Reynolds LM, Pantoja-Urbán AH, MacGowan D, Manitt C, Nouel D, Flores C. 2022. Dopaminergic System Function and Dysfunction: Experimental Approaches. Neuromethods 31–63. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-2799-0_2

      (4) TH in the cortex could also be of noradrenergic origin. This needs to be ruled out to score DA axons

      This is the same comment as Reviewer 1 #9. Please see our response below, which we have also added to our methods:

      In this study we pay great attention to the morphology and localization of the fibres from which we quantify varicosities to avoid counting any fibres stained with TH antibodies that are not dopamine fibres. The fibres that we examine and that are labelled by the TH antibody show features indistinguishable from the classic features of cortical dopamine axons in rodents (Berger et al., 1974; 1983; Van Eden et al., 1987; Manitt et al., 2011), namely they are thin fibres with irregularly-spaced varicosities, are densely packed in the nucleus accumbens, sparsely present only in the deep layers of the prefrontal cortex, and are not regularly oriented in relation to the pial surface. This is in contrast to rodent norepinephrine fibres, which are smooth or beaded in appearance, relatively thick with regularly spaced varicosities, increase in density towards the shallow cortical layers, and are in large part oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the pial surface (Berger et al., 1974; Levitt and Moore, 1979; Berger et al., 1983; Miner et al., 2003). Furthermore, previous studies in rodents have noted that only norepinephrine cell bodies are detectable using immunofluorescence for TH, not norepinephrine processes (Pickel et al., 1975; Verney et al., 1982; Miner et al., 2003), and we did not observe any norepinephrine-like fibres.

      References:

      Berger B, Tassin JP, Blanc G, Moyne MA, Thierry AM (1974) Histochemical confirmation for dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex after destruction of the noradrenergic ascending pathways. Brain Res 81:332–337.

      Berger B, Verney C, Gay M, Vigny A (1983) Immunocytochemical Characterization of the Dopaminergic and Noradrenergic Innervation of the Rat Neocortex During Early Ontogeny. In: Proceedings of the 9th Meeting of the International Neurobiology Society, pp 263–267 Progress in Brain Research. Elsevier.

      Levitt P, Moore RY (1979) Development of the noradrenergic innervation of neocortex. Brain Res 162:243–259.

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C (2011) The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394.

      Miner LH, Schroeter S, Blakely RD, Sesack SR (2003) Ultrastructural localization of the norepinephrine transporter in superficial and deep layers of the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and its spatial relationship to probable dopamine terminals. J Comp Neurol 466:478–494.

      Pickel VM, Joh TH, Field PM, Becker CG, Reis DJ (1975) Cellular localization of tyrosine hydroxylase by immunohistochemistry. J Histochem Cytochem 23:1–12.

      Van Eden CG, Hoorneman EM, Buijs RM, Matthijssen MA, Geffard M, Uylings HBM (1987) Immunocytochemical localization of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the rat at the light and electron microscopical level. Neurosci 22:849–862.

      Verney C, Berger B, Adrien J, Vigny A, Gay M (1982) Development of the dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex. A light microscopic immunocytochemical study using anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibodies. Dev Brain Res 5:41–52.

      (5) Netrin staining should be provided with NeuN + DAPI; its not clear these are all cell bodies. An in situ of Netrin would help as well.

      A similar comment was raised by Reviewer 1 in point #1. Please see below the immunofluorescent and RNA scope images showing expression of Netrin-1 protein and mRNA in the forebrain.

      Author response image 7.

      This confocal microscope image shows immunofluorescent staining for Netrin-1 (green) localized around cell nuclei (stained by DAPI in blue). This image was taken from a coronal section of the lateral septum of an adult male mouse. Scale bar = 20µm

      Author response image 8.

      This confocal microscope image of a coronal brain section of the medial prefrontal cortex of an adult male mouse shows Netrin-1 mRNA expression (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI, blue). RNAscope was used to generate this image. Brain regions are as follows: Cg1: Anterior cingulate cortex 1, DP: dorsopeduncular cortex, IL: Infralimbic Cortex, PrL: Prelimbic Cortex, fmi: forceps minor of the corpus callosum

      Author response image 9.

      A higher resolution image from the same sample as in Figure 2 shows Netrin-1 mRNA (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI; blue). DP = dorsopeduncular cortex

      (6) The Netrin knockdown needs validation. How strong was the knockdown etc?

      This comment was also raised by Reviewer 1 #1.

      We have previously established the efficacy of the shRNA Netrin-1 knockdown virus used in this experiment for reducing the expression of Netrin-1 (Cuesta et al., 2020). The shRNA reduces Netrin-1 levels in vitro and in vivo.

      References:

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      (7) If the conclusion that knocking down Netrin in cortex decreases DA innervation of the IL, how can that be reconciled with Netrin-Unc repulsion.

      This is an intriguing question and one that we are in the planning stages of addressing with new experiments.

      Although we do not have a mechanistic answered for how a repulsive receptor helps guide these axons, we would like to note that previous indirect evidence from a study by our group also suggests that reducing UNC5c signaling in dopamine axons in adolescence increases dopamine innervation to the prefrontal cortex (Auger et al, 2013).

      References

      Auger ML, Schmidt ERE, Manitt C, Dal-Bo G, Pasterkamp RJ, Flores C. 2013. unc5c haploinsufficient phenotype: striking similarities with the dcc haploinsufficiency model. European Journal of Neuroscience 38:2853–2863. doi:10.1111/ejn.12270

      (8) The behavioral phenotype in Fig 1 is interesting, but its not clear if its related to DA axons/signaling. IN general, no evidence in this paper is provided for the role of DA in the adolescent behaviors described.

      We agree with the reviewer that the behaviours we describe in adult mice are complex and are likely to involve several neurotransmitter systems. However, there is ample evidence for the role of dopamine signaling in cognitive control behaviours (Bari and Robbins, 2013; Eagle et al., 2008; Ott et al., 2023) and our published work has shown that alterations in the growth of dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex leads to changes in impulse control as measured via the Go/No-Go task in adulthood (Reynolds et al., 2023, 2018a; Vassilev et al., 2021).

      The other adolescent behaviour we examined was risk-like taking behaviour in male and female hamsters (Figures 4 and 5), as a means of characterizing maturation in this behavior over time. We decided not to use the Go/No-Go task because as far as we know, this has never been employed in Siberian Hamsters and it will be difficult to implement. Instead, we chose the light/dark box paradigm, which requires no training and is ideal for charting behavioural changes over short time periods. Indeed, risk-like taking behavior in rodents and in humans changes from adolescence to adulthood paralleling changes in prefrontal cortex development, including the gradual input of dopamine axons to this region.

      References:

      Bari A, Robbins TW. 2013. Inhibition and impulsivity: Behavioral and neural basis of response control. Progress in neurobiology 108:44–79. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2013.06.005

      Eagle DM, Bari A, Robbins TW. 2008. The neuropsychopharmacology of action inhibition: cross-species translation of the stop-signal and go/no-go tasks. Psychopharmacology 199:439–456. doi:10.1007/s00213-008-1127-6

      Ott T, Stein AM, Nieder A. 2023. Dopamine receptor activation regulates reward expectancy signals during cognitive control in primate prefrontal neurons. Nat Commun 14:7537. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-43271-6

      Reynolds LM, Hernandez G, MacGowan D, Popescu C, Nouel D, Cuesta S, Burke S, Savell KE, Zhao J, Restrepo-Lozano JM, Giroux M, Israel S, Orsini T, He S, Wodzinski M, Avramescu RG, Pokinko M, Epelbaum JG, Niu Z, Pantoja-Urbán AH, Trudeau L-É, Kolb B, Day JJ, Flores C. 2023. Amphetamine disrupts dopamine axon growth in adolescence by a sex-specific mechanism in mice. Nat Commun 14:4035. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-39665-1

      Reynolds LM, Pokinko M, Torres-Berrío A, Cuesta S, Lambert LC, Pellitero EDC, Wodzinski M, Manitt C, Krimpenfort P, Kolb B, Flores C. 2018a. DCC Receptors Drive Prefrontal Cortex Maturation by Determining Dopamine Axon Targeting in Adolescence. Biological psychiatry 83:181–192. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.06.009

      Vassilev P, Pantoja-Urban AH, Giroux M, Nouel D, Hernandez G, Orsini T, Flores C. 2021. Unique effects of social defeat stress in adolescent male mice on the Netrin-1/DCC pathway, prefrontal cortex dopamine and cognition (Social stress in adolescent vs. adult male mice). Eneuro ENEURO.0045-21.2021. doi:10.1523/eneuro.0045-21.2021

      (9) Fig2 - boxes should be drawn on the NAc diagram to indicate sampled regions. Some quantification of Unc5c would be useful. Also, some validation of the Unc5c antibody would be nice.

      The images presented were taken medial to the anterior commissure and we have edited Figure 2 to show this. However, we did not notice any intra-accumbens variation, including between the core and the shell. Therefore, the images are representative of what was observed throughout the entire nucleus accumbens.

      To quantify UNC5c in the accumbens we conducted a Western blot experiment in male mice at different ages. A one-way ANOVA analyzing band intensity (relative to the 15-day-old average band intensity) as the response variable and age as the predictor variable showed a significant effect of age (F=5.615, p=0.01). Posthoc analysis revealed that 15-day-old mice have less UNC5c in the nucleus accumbens compared to 21- and 35-day-old mice.

      Author response image 10.

      The graph depicts the results of a Western blot experiment of UNC5c protein levels in the nucleus accumbens of male mice at postnatal days 15, 21 or 35 and reveals a significant increase in protein levels at the onset adolescence.

      Our methods for this Western blot were as follows: Samples were prepared as previously (Torres-Berrío et al., 2017). Briefly, mice were sacrificed by live decapitation and brains were flash frozen in heptane on dry ice for 10 seconds. Frozen brains were mounted in a cryomicrotome and two 500um sections were collected for the nucleus accumbens, corresponding to plates 14 and 18 of the Paxinos mouse brain atlas. Two tissue core samples were collected per section, one for each side of the brain, using a 15-gauge tissue corer (Fine surgical tools Cat no. NC9128328) and ejected in a microtube on dry ice. The tissue samples were homogenized in 100ul of standard radioimmunoprecipitation assay buffer using a handheld electric tissue homogenizer. The samples were clarified by centrifugation at 4C at a speed of 15000g for 30 minutes. Protein concentration was quantified using a bicinchoninic acid assay kit (Pierce BCA protein assay kit, Cat no.PI23225) and denatured with standard Laemmli buffer for 5 minutes at 70C. 10ug of protein per sample was loaded and run by SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis in a Mini-PROTEAN system (Bio-Rad) on an 8% acrylamide gel by stacking for 30 minutes at 60V and resolving for 1.5 hours at 130V. The proteins were transferred to a nitrocellulose membrane for 1 hour at 100V in standard transfer buffer on ice. The membranes were blocked using 5% bovine serum albumin dissolved in tris-buffered saline with Tween 20 and probed with primary (UNC5c, Abcam Cat. no ab302924) and HRP-conjugated secondary antibodies for 1 hour. a-tubulin was probed and used as loading control. The probed membranes were resolved using SuperSignal West Pico PLUS chemiluminescent substrate (ThermoFisher Cat no.34579) in a ChemiDoc MP Imaging system (Bio-Rad). Band intensity was quantified using the ChemiDoc software and all ages were normalized to the P15 age group average.

      Validation of the UNC5c antibody was performed in the lab of Dr. Liu, from whom it was kindly provided. Briefly, in the validation study the authors showed that the anti-UNC5C antibody can detect endogenous UNC5C expression and the level of UNC5C is dramatically reduced after UNC5C knockdown. The antibody can also detect the tagged-UNC5C protein in several cell lines, which was confirmed by a tag antibody (Purohit et al., 2012; Shao et al., 2017).

      References:

      Purohit AA, Li W, Qu C, Dwyer T, Shao Q, Guan K-L, Liu G. 2012. Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (DSCAM) Associates with Uncoordinated-5C (UNC5C) in Netrin-1mediated Growth Cone Collapse. The Journal of biological chemistry 287:27126–27138. doi:10.1074/jbc.m112.340174

      Shao Q, Yang T, Huang H, Alarmanazi F, Liu G. 2017. Uncoupling of UNC5C with Polymerized TUBB3 in Microtubules Mediates Netrin-1 Repulsion. J Neurosci 37:5620–5633. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.2617-16.2017

      (10) "In adolescence, dopamine neurons begin to express the repulsive Netrin-1 receptor UNC5C, and reduction in UNC5C expression appears to cause growth of mesolimbic dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex".....This is confusing. Figure 2 shows a developmental increase in UNc5c not a decrease. So when is the "reduction in Unc5c expression" occurring?

      We apologize for the mistake in this sentence. We have corrected the relevant passage in our manuscript as follows:

      In adolescence, dopamine neurons begin to express the repulsive Netrin-1 receptor UNC5C, particularly when mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine projections segregate in the nucleus accumbens (Manitt et al., 2010; Reynolds et al., 2018a). In contrast, dopamine axons in the prefrontal cortex do not express UNC5c except in very rare cases (Supplementary Figure 4). In adult male mice with Unc5c haploinsufficiency, there appears to be ectopic growth of mesolimbic dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex (Auger et al., 2013). This miswiring is associated with alterations in prefrontal cortex-dependent behaviours (Auger et al., 2013).

      References:

      Auger ML, Schmidt ERE, Manitt C, Dal-Bo G, Pasterkamp RJ, Flores C. 2013. unc5c haploinsufficient phenotype: striking similarities with the dcc haploinsufficiency model. European Journal of Neuroscience 38:2853–2863. doi:10.1111/ejn.12270

      Manitt C, Labelle-Dumais C, Eng C, Grant A, Mimee A, Stroh T, Flores C. 2010. Peri-Pubertal Emergence of UNC-5 Homologue Expression by Dopamine Neurons in Rodents. PLoS ONE 5:e11463-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011463

      Reynolds LM, Pokinko M, Torres-Berrío A, Cuesta S, Lambert LC, Pellitero EDC, Wodzinski M, Manitt C, Krimpenfort P, Kolb B, Flores C. 2018a. DCC Receptors Drive Prefrontal Cortex Maturation by Determining Dopamine Axon Targeting in Adolescence. Biological psychiatry 83:181–192. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.06.009

      (11) In Fig 3, a statistical comparison should be made between summer male and winter male, to justify the conclusions that the winter males have delayed DA innervation.

      This analysis was also suggested by Reviewer 1, #11. Here is our response:

      We analyzed the summer and winter data together in ANOVAs separately for males and females. In both sexes we find a significant effect of daylength on dopamine innervation, interacting with age. Male age by daylength interaction: F = 6.383, p = 0.00242. Female age by daylength interaction: F = 21.872, p = 1.97 x 10-9. The full statistical analysis is available as a supplement to this letter (Response_Letter_Stats_Details.docx).

      (12) Should axon length also be measured here (Fig 3)? It is not clear why the authors have switched to varicosity density. Also, a box should be drawn in the NAC cartoon to indicate the region that was sampled.

      It is untenable to quantify axon length in the prefrontal cortex as we cannot distinguish independent axons. Rather, they are “tangled”; they twist and turn in a multitude of directions as they make contact with various dendrites. Furthermore, they branch extensively. It would therefore be impossible to accurately quantify the number of axons. Using unbiased stereology to quantify varicosities is a valid, well-characterized and straightforward alternative (Reynolds et al., 2022).

      References:

      Reynolds LM, Pantoja-Urbán AH, MacGowan D, Manitt C, Nouel D, Flores C. 2022. Dopaminergic System Function and Dysfunction: Experimental Approaches. Neuromethods 31–63. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-2799-0_2

      (13) In Fig 3, Unc5c should be quantified to bolster the interesting finding that Unc5c expression dynamics are different between summer and winter hamsters. Unc5c mRNA experiments would also be important to see if similar changes are observed at the transcript level.

      We agree that it would be very interesting to see how UNC5c mRNA and protein levels change over time in summer and winter hamsters, both in males, as the reviewer suggests here, and in females. We are working on conducting these experiments in hamsters as part of a broader expansion of our research in this area. These experiments will require a lengthy amount of time and at this point we feel that they are beyond the scope of this manuscript.

      (14) Fig 4. The peak in exploratory behavior in winter females is counterintuitive and needs to be better discussed. IN general, the light dark behavior seems quite variable.

      This is indeed a very interesting finding, which we have expanded upon in our manuscript as follows:

      When raised under a winter-mimicking daylength, hamsters of either sex show a protracted peak in risk taking. In males, it is delayed beyond 80 days old, but the delay is substantially less in females. This is a counterintuitive finding considering that dopamine development in winter females appears to be accelerated. Our interpretation of this finding is that the timing of the risk-taking peak in females may reflect a balance between different adolescent developmental processes. The fact that dopamine axon growth is accelerated does not imply that all adolescent maturational processes are accelerated. Some may be delayed, for example those that induce axon pruning in the cortex. The timing of the risk-taking peak in winter female hamsters may therefore reflect the amalgamation of developmental processes that are advanced with those that are delayed – producing a behavioural effect that is timed somewhere in the middle. Disentangling the effects of different developmental processes on behaviour will require further experiments in hamsters, including the direct manipulation of dopamine activity in the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex.

      Full Reference List

      Auger ML, Schmidt ERE, Manitt C, Dal-Bo G, Pasterkamp RJ, Flores C. 2013. unc5c haploinsufficient phenotype: striking similarities with the dcc haploinsufficiency model. European Journal of Neuroscience 38:2853–2863. doi:10.1111/ejn.12270

      Bari A, Robbins TW. 2013. Inhibition and impulsivity: Behavioral and neural basis of response control. Progress in neurobiology 108:44–79. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2013.06.005

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      Daubaras M, Bo GD, Flores C. 2014. Target-dependent expression of the netrin-1 receptor, UNC5C, in projection neurons of the ventral tegmental area. Neuroscience 260:36–46. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.12.007

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      Manitt C, Labelle-Dumais C, Eng C, Grant A, Mimee A, Stroh T, Flores C. 2010. Peri-Pubertal Emergence of UNC-5 Homologue Expression by Dopamine Neurons in Rodents. PLoS ONE 5:e11463-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011463

      Murcia-Belmonte V, Coca Y, Vegar C, Negueruela S, Romero C de J, Valiño AJ, Sala S, DaSilva R, Kania A, Borrell V, Martinez LM, Erskine L, Herrera E. 2019. A Retino-retinal Projection Guided by Unc5c Emerged in Species with Retinal Waves. Current Biology 29:1149-1160.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.052

      Ott T, Stein AM, Nieder A. 2023. Dopamine receptor activation regulates reward expectancy signals during cognitive control in primate prefrontal neurons. Nat Commun 14:7537. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-43271-6

      Phillips RA, Tuscher JJ, Black SL, Andraka E, Fitzgerald ND, Ianov L, Day JJ. 2022. An atlas of transcriptionally defined cell populations in the rat ventral tegmental area. Cell Reports 39:110616. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110616

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      Reynolds LM, Hernandez G, MacGowan D, Popescu C, Nouel D, Cuesta S, Burke S, Savell KE, Zhao J, Restrepo-Lozano JM, Giroux M, Israel S, Orsini T, He S, Wodzinski M, Avramescu RG, Pokinko M, Epelbaum JG, Niu Z, Pantoja-Urbán AH, Trudeau L-É, Kolb B, Day JJ, Flores C. 2023. Amphetamine disrupts dopamine axon growth in adolescence by a sex-specific mechanism in mice. Nat Commun 14:4035. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-39665-1

      Reynolds LM, Pantoja-Urbán AH, MacGowan D, Manitt C, Nouel D, Flores C. 2022. Dopaminergic System Function and Dysfunction: Experimental Approaches. Neuromethods 31–63. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-2799-0_2

      Reynolds LM, Pokinko M, Torres-Berrío A, Cuesta S, Lambert LC, Pellitero EDC, Wodzinski M, Manitt C, Krimpenfort P, Kolb B, Flores C. 2018a. DCC Receptors Drive Prefrontal Cortex Maturation by Determining Dopamine Axon Targeting in Adolescence. Biological psychiatry 83:181–192. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.06.009

      Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette M-P, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018b. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

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      Shao Q, Yang T, Huang H, Alarmanazi F, Liu G. 2017. Uncoupling of UNC5C with Polymerized TUBB3 in Microtubules Mediates Netrin-1 Repulsion. J Neurosci 37:5620–5633. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.2617-16.2017

      Srivatsa S, Parthasarathy S, Britanova O, Bormuth I, Donahoo A-L, Ackerman SL, Richards LJ, Tarabykin V. 2014. Unc5C and DCC act downstream of Ctip2 and Satb2 and contribute to corpus callosum formation. Nat Commun 5:3708. doi:10.1038/ncomms4708

      Torres-Berrío A, Lopez JP, Bagot RC, Nouel D, Dal-Bo G, Cuesta S, Zhu L, Manitt C, Eng C, Cooper HM, Storch K-F, Turecki G, Nestler EJ, Flores C. 2017. DCC Confers Susceptibility to Depression-like Behaviors in Humans and Mice and Is Regulated by miR-218. Biological psychiatry 81:306–315. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2016.08.017

      Vassilev P, Pantoja-Urban AH, Giroux M, Nouel D, Hernandez G, Orsini T, Flores C. 2021. Unique effects of social defeat stress in adolescent male mice on the Netrin-1/DCC pathway, prefrontal cortex dopamine and cognition (Social stress in adolescent vs. adult male mice). Eneuro ENEURO.0045-21.2021. doi:10.1523/eneuro.0045-21.2021

      Private Comments

      Reviewer #1

      (12) The language should be improved. Some expression is confusing (line178-179). Also some spelling errors (eg. Figure 1M).

      We have removed the word “Already” to make the sentence in lines 178-179 clearer, however we cannot find a spelling error in Figure 1M or its caption. We have further edited the manuscript for clarity and flow.

      Reviewer #2

      (1) The authors claim to have revealed how the 'timing of adolescence is programmed in the brain'. While their findings certainly shed light on molecular, circuit and behavioral processes that are unique to adolescence, their claim may be an overstatement. I suggest they refine this statement to discuss more specifically the processes they observed in the brain and animal behavior, rather than adolescence itself.

      We agree with the reviewer and have revised the manuscript to specify that we are referring to the timing of specific developmental processes that occur in the adolescent brain, not adolescence overall.

      (2) Along the same lines, the authors should also include a more substantiative discussion of how they selected their ages for investigation (for both mice and hamsters), For mice, their definition of adolescence (P21) is earlier than some (e.g. Spear L.P., Neurosci. and Beh. Reviews, 2000).

      There are certainly differences of opinion between researchers as to the precise definition of adolescence and the period it encompasses. Spear, 2000, provides one excellent discussion of the challenges related to identifying adolescence across species. This work gives specific ages only for rats, not mice (as we use here), and characterizes post-natal days 28-42 as being the conservative age range of “peak” adolescence (page 419, paragraph 1). Immediately thereafter the review states that the full adolescent period is longer than this, and it could encompass post-natal days 20-55 (page 419, paragraph 2).

      We have added the following statement to our methods:

      There is no universally accepted way to define the precise onset of adolescence. Therefore, there is no clear-cut boundary to define adolescent onset in rodents (Spear, 2000). Puberty can be more sharply defined, and puberty and adolescence overlap in time, but the terms are not interchangeable. Puberty is the onset of sexual maturation, while adolescence is a more diffuse period marked by the gradual transition from a juvenile state to independence. We, and others, suggest that adolescence in rodents spans from weaning (postnatal day 21) until adulthood, which we take to start on postnatal day 60 (Reynolds and Flores, 2021). We refer to “early adolescence” as the first two weeks postweaning (postnatal days 21-34). These ranges encompass discrete DA developmental periods (Kalsbeek et al., 1988; Manitt et al., 2011; Reynolds et al., 2018a), vulnerability to drug effects on DA circuitry (Hammerslag and Gulley, 2014; Reynolds et al., 2018a), and distinct behavioral characteristics (Adriani and Laviola, 2004; Makinodan et al., 2012; Schneider, 2013; Wheeler et al., 2013).

      References:

      Adriani W, Laviola G. 2004. Windows of vulnerability to psychopathology and therapeutic strategy in the adolescent rodent model. Behav Pharmacol 15:341–352. doi:10.1097/00008877-200409000-00005

      Hammerslag LR, Gulley JM. 2014. Age and sex differences in reward behavior in adolescent and adult rats. Dev Psychobiol 56:611–621. doi:10.1002/dev.21127

      Hoops D, Flores C. 2017. Making Dopamine Connections in Adolescence. Trends in Neurosciences 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.09.004

      Kalsbeek A, Voorn P, Buijs RM, Pool CW, Uylings HBM. 1988. Development of the Dopaminergic Innervation in the Prefrontal Cortex of the Rat. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 269:58–72. doi:10.1002/cne.902690105

      Makinodan M, Rosen KM, Ito S, Corfas G. 2012. A critical period for social experiencedependent oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination. Science 337:1357–1360. doi:10.1126/science.1220845

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C. 2011. The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0606-11.2011

      Reynolds LM, Flores C. 2021. Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Pathways Across Adolescence: Diversity in Development. Front Neural Circuit 15:735625. doi:10.3389/fncir.2021.735625

      Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette MP, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

      Schneider M. 2013. Adolescence as a vulnerable period to alter rodent behavior. Cell and tissue research 354:99–106. Doi:10.1007/s00441-013-1581-2

      Spear LP. 2000. Neurobehavioral Changes in Adolescence. Current directions in psychological science 9:111–114. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00072

      Wheeler AL, Lerch JP, Chakravarty MM, Friedel M, Sled JG, Fletcher PJ, Josselyn SA, Frankland PW. 2013. Adolescent Cocaine Exposure Causes Enduring Macroscale Changes in Mouse Brain Structure. J Neurosci 33:1797–1803. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.3830-12.2013

      (3) Figure 1 - the conclusions hinge on the Netrin-1 staining, as shown in panel G, but the cells are difficult to see. It would be helpful to provide clearer, more zoomed images so readers can better assess the staining. Since Netrin-1 expression reduces dramatically after P4 and they had to use antigen retrieval to see signal, it would be helpful to show some images from additional brain regions and ages to see if expression levels follow predicted patterns. For instance, based on the allen brain atlas, it seems that around P21, there should be high levels of Netrin-1 in the cerebellum, but low levels in the cortex. These would be nice controls to demonstrate the specificity and sensitivity of the antibody in older tissue.

      We do not study the cerebellum and have never stained this region; doing so now would require generating additional tissue and we’re not sure it would add enough to the information provided to be worthwhile. Note that we have stained the forebrain for Netrin-1 previously, providing broad staining of many brain regions (Manitt et al., 2011)

      References:

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C. 2011. The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0606-11.2011

      (4) Figure 3 - Because mice tend to avoid brightly-lit spaces, the light/dark box is more commonly used as a measure of anxiety-like behavior than purely exploratory behavior (including in the paper they cited). It is important to address this possibility in their discussion of their findings. To bolster their conclusions about the coincidence of circuit and behavioral changes in adolescent hamsters, it would be useful to add an additional measure of exploratory behaviors (e.g. hole board).

      Regarding the light/dark box test, this is an excellent point. We prefer the term “risk taking” to “anxiety-like” and now use the former term in our manuscript. Furthermore, our interest in the behaviour is purely to chart the development of adolescent behaviour across our treatment groups, not to study a particular emotional state. Regardless of the specific emotion or emotions governing the light/dark box behaviour, it is an ideal test for charting adolescent shifts in behaviour as it is well-characterized in this respect, as we discuss in our manuscript.

      (5) Supplementary Figure 4,5 The authors defined puberty onset using uterine and testes weights in hamsters. While the weights appear to be different for summer and winter hamsters, there were no statistical comparison. Please add statistical analyses to bolster claims about puberty start times. Also, as many studies use vaginal opening to define puberty onset, it would be helpful to discuss how these measurements typically align and cite relevant literature that described use of uterine weights. Also, Supplementary Figures 4 and 5 were mis-cited as Supp. Fig. 2 in the text (e.g. line 317 and others).

      These are great suggestions. We have added statistical analyses to Supplementary Figures 5 and 6 and provided Vaginal Opening data as Supplementary Figure 7. The statistical analyses confirm that all three characters are delayed in winter hamsters compared to summer hamsters.

      We have also added the following references to the manuscript:

      Darrow JM, Davis FC, Elliott JA, Stetson MH, Turek FW, Menaker M. 1980. Influence of Photoperiod on Reproductive Development in the Golden Hamster. Biol Reprod 22:443–450. doi:10.1095/biolreprod22.3.443

      Ebling FJP. 1994. Photoperiodic Differences during Development in the Dwarf Hamsters Phodopus sungorus and Phodopus campbelli. Gen Comp Endocrinol 95:475–482. doi:10.1006/gcen.1994.1147

      Timonin ME, Place NJ, Wanderi E, Wynne-Edwards KE. 2006. Phodopus campbelli detect reduced photoperiod during development but, unlike Phodopus sungorus, retain functional reproductive physiology. Reproduction 132:661–670. doi:10.1530/rep.1.00019

      (6) The font in many figure panels is small and hard to read (e.g. 1A,D,E,H,I,L...). Please increase the size for legibility.

      We have increased the font size of our figure text throughout the manuscript.

      Reviewer #3

      (15) Fig 1 C,D. Clarify the units of the y axis

      We have now fixed this.

      Full Reference List

      Adriani W, Laviola G. 2004. Windows of vulnerability to psychopathology and therapeutic strategy in the adolescent rodent model. Behav Pharmacol 15:341–352. doi:10.1097/00008877-200409000-00005

      Hammerslag LR, Gulley JM. 2014. Age and sex differences in reward behavior in adolescent and adult rats. Dev Psychobiol 56:611–621. doi:10.1002/dev.21127

      Hoops D, Flores C. 2017. Making Dopamine Connections in Adolescence. Trends in Neurosciences 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.09.004

      Kalsbeek A, Voorn P, Buijs RM, Pool CW, Uylings HBM. 1988. Development of the Dopaminergic Innervation in the Prefrontal Cortex of the Rat. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 269:58–72. doi:10.1002/cne.902690105

      Makinodan M, Rosen KM, Ito S, Corfas G. 2012. A critical period for social experiencedependent oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination. Science 337:1357–1360. doi:10.1126/science.1220845

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C. 2011. The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0606-11.2011

      Reynolds LM, Flores C. 2021. Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Pathways Across Adolescence: Diversity in Development. Front Neural Circuit 15:735625. doi:10.3389/fncir.2021.735625 Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette M-P, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

      Schneider M. 2013. Adolescence as a vulnerable period to alter rodent behavior. Cell and tissue research 354:99–106. doi:10.1007/s00441-013-1581-2

      Spear LP. 2000. Neurobehavioral Changes in Adolescence. Current directions in psychological science 9:111–114. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00072

      Wheeler AL, Lerch JP, Chakravarty MM, Friedel M, Sled JG, Fletcher PJ, Josselyn SA, Frankland PW. 2013. Adolescent Cocaine Exposure Causes Enduring Macroscale Changes in Mouse Brain Structure. J Neurosci 33:1797–1803. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.3830-12.2013

    2. Author Response

      The following is the authors’ response to the original reviews.

      Public Comments

      Reviewer 1

      (1) Despite the well-established role of Netrin-1 and UNC5C axon guidance during embryonic commissural axons, it remains unclear which cell type(s) express Netrin-1 or UNC5C in the dopaminergic axons and their targets. For instance, the data in Figure 1F-G and Figure 2 are quite confusing. Does Netrin-1 or UNC5C express in all cell types or only dopamine-positive neurons in these two mouse models? It will also be important to provide quantitative assessments of UNC5C expression in dopaminergic axons at different ages.

      Netrin-1 is a secreted protein and in this manuscript we did not examine what cell types express Netrin-1. This question is not the focus of the study and we consider it irrelevant to the main issue we are addressing, which is where in the forebrain regions we examined Netrin-1+ cells are present. As per the reviewer’s request we include below images showing Netrin-1 protein and Netrin-1 mRNA expression in the forebrain. In Figure 1 below, we show a high magnification immunofluorescent image of a coronal forebrain section showing Netrin-1 protein expression.

      Author response image 1.

      This confocal microscope image shows immunofluorescent staining for Netrin-1 (green) localized around cell nuclei (stained by DAPI in blue). This image was taken from a coronal section of the lateral septum of an adult male mouse. Scale bar = 20µm

      In Author response images 2 and 3 below we show low and high magnification images from an RNAscope experiment confirming that cells in the forebrain regions examined express Netrin-1 mRNA.

      Author response image 2.

      This confocal microscope image of a coronal brain section of the medial prefrontal cortex of an adult male mouse shows Netrin-1 mRNA expression (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI, blue). Brain regions are as follows: Cg1: Anterior cingulate cortex 1, DP: dorsopeduncular cortex, fmi: forceps minor of the corpus callosum, IL: Infralimbic Cortex, PrL: Prelimbic Cortex

      Author response image 3.

      A higher resolution image from the same sample as in Figure 2 shows Netrin-1 mRNA (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI; blue). DP = dorsopeduncular cortex

      Regarding UNC5c, this receptor homologue is expressed by dopamine neurons in the rodent ventral tegmental area (Daubaras et al., 2014; Manitt et al., 2010; Phillips et al., 2022). This does not preclude UNC5c expression in other cell types. UNC5c receptors are ubiquitously expressed in the brain throughout development, performing many different developmental functions (Kim and Ackerman, 2011; Murcia-Belmonte et al., 2019; Srivatsa et al., 2014). In this study we are interested in UNC5c expression by dopamine neurons, and particularly by their axons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. We therefore used immunofluorescent staining in the nucleus accumbens, showing UNC5 expression in TH+ axons. This work adds to the study by Manitt et al., 2010, which examined UNC5 expression in the VTA. Manitt et al. used Western blotting to demonstrate that UNC5 expression in VTA dopamine neurons increases during adolescence, as can be seen in the following figure:

      References:

      Daubaras M, Bo GD, Flores C. 2014. Target-dependent expression of the netrin-1 receptor, UNC5C, in projection neurons of the ventral tegmental area. Neuroscience 260:36–46. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.12.007

      Kim D, Ackerman SL. 2011. The UNC5C Netrin Receptor Regulates Dorsal Guidance of Mouse Hindbrain Axons. J Neurosci 31:2167–2179. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.5254-10.20110.2011

      Manitt C, Labelle-Dumais C, Eng C, Grant A, Mimee A, Stroh T, Flores C. 2010. Peri-Pubertal Emergence of UNC-5 Homologue Expression by Dopamine Neurons in Rodents. PLoS ONE 5:e11463-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011463

      Murcia-Belmonte V, Coca Y, Vegar C, Negueruela S, Romero C de J, Valiño AJ, Sala S, DaSilva R, Kania A, Borrell V, Martinez LM, Erskine L, Herrera E. 2019. A Retino-retinal Projection Guided by Unc5c Emerged in Species with Retinal Waves. Current Biology 29:1149-1160.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.052

      Phillips RA, Tuscher JJ, Black SL, Andraka E, Fitzgerald ND, Ianov L, Day JJ. 2022. An atlas of transcriptionally defined cell populations in the rat ventral tegmental area. Cell Reports 39:110616. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110616

      Srivatsa S, Parthasarathy S, Britanova O, Bormuth I, Donahoo A-L, Ackerman SL, Richards LJ, Tarabykin V. 2014. Unc5C and DCC act downstream of Ctip2 and Satb2 and contribute to corpus callosum formation. Nat Commun 5:3708. doi:10.1038/ncomms4708

      (2) Figure 1 used shRNA to knockdown Netrin-1 in the Septum and these mice were subjected to behavioral testing. These results, again, are not supported by any valid data that the knockdown approach actually worked in dopaminergic axons. It is also unclear whether knocking down Netrin-1 in the septum will re-route dopaminergic axons or lead to cell death in the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta?

      First we want to clarify and emphasize, that our knockdown approach was not designed to knock down Netrin-1 in dopamine neurons or their axons. Our goal was to knock down Netrin-1 expression in cells expressing this guidance cue gene in the dorsal peduncular cortex.

      We have previously established the efficacy of the shRNA Netrin-1 knockdown virus used in this experiment for reducing the expression of Netrin-1 (Cuesta et al., 2020). The shRNA reduces Netrin-1 levels in vitro and in vivo.

      We agree that our experiments do not address the fate of the dopamine axons that are misrouted away from the medial prefrontal cortex. This research is ongoing, and we have now added a note regarding this to our manuscript.

      Our current hypothesis, based on experiments being conducted as part of another line of research in the lab, is that these axons are rerouted to a different brain region which they then ectopically innervate. In these experiments we are finding that male mice exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence show reduced dopamine innervation in the medial prefrontal cortex in adulthood but increased dopamine input in the orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, these mice show increased action impulsivity in the Go/No-Go task in adulthood (Capolicchio et al., Society for Neuroscience 2023 Abstracts)

      References:

      Capolicchio T., Hernandez, G., Dube, E., Estrada, K., Giroux, M., Flores, C. (2023) Divergent outcomes of delta 9 - tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence on dopamine and cognitive development in male and female mice. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, United States [abstract].

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      (3) Another issue with Figure1J. It is unclear whether the viruses were injected into a WT mouse model or into a Cre-mouse model driven by a promoter specifically expresses in dorsal peduncular cortex? The authors should provide evidence that Netrin-1 mRNA and proteins are indeed significantly reduced. The authors should address the anatomic results of the area of virus diffusion to confirm the virus specifically infected the cells in dorsal peduncular cortex.

      All the virus knockdown experiments were conducted in wild type mice, we added this information to Figure 1k.

      The efficacy of the shRNA in knocking down Netrin-1 was demonstrated by Cuesta et al. (2020) both in vitro and in vivo, as we show in our response to the reviewer’s previous comment above.

      We also now provide anatomical images demonstrating the localization of the injection and area of virus diffusion in the mouse forebrain. In Author response image 4 below the area of virus diffusion is visible as green fluorescent signal.

      Author response image 4.

      Fluorescent microscopy image of a mouse forebrain demonstrating the localization of the injection of a virus to knock down Netrin-1. The location of the virus is in green, while cell nuclei are in blue (DAPI). Abbreviations: DP: dorsopeduncular cortex IL: infralimbic cortex

      References:

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      (4) The authors need to provide information regarding the efficiency and duration of knocking down. For instance, in Figure 1K, the mice were tested after 53 days post injection, can the virus activity in the brain last for such a long time?

      In our study we are interested in the role of Netrin-1 expression in the guidance of dopamine axons from the nucleus accumbens to the medial prefrontal cortex. The critical window for these axons leaving the nucleus accumbens and growing to the cortex is early adolescence (Reynolds et al., 2018b). This is why we injected the virus at the onset of adolescence, at postnatal day 21. As dopamine axons grow from the nucleus accumbens to the prefrontal cortex, they pass through the dorsal peduncular cortex. We disrupted Netrin-1 expression at this point along their route to determine whether it is the Netrin-1 present along their route that guides these axons to the prefrontal cortex. We hypothesized that the shRNA Netrin-1 virus would disrupt the growth of the dopamine axons, reducing the number of axons that reach the prefrontal cortex and therefore the number of axons that innervate this region in adulthood.

      We conducted our behavioural tests during adulthood, after the critical window during which dopamine axon growth occurs, so as to observe the enduring behavioral consequences of this misrouting. This experimental approach is designed for the shRNa Netrin-1 virus to be expressed in cells in the dorsopeduncular cortex when the dopamine axons are growing, during adolescence.

      References:

      Capolicchio T., Hernandez, G., Dube, E., Estrada, K., Giroux, M., Flores, C. (2023) Divergent outcomes of delta 9 - tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence on dopamine and cognitive development in male and female mice. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, United States [abstract].

      Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette M-P, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018b. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

      (5) In Figure 1N-Q, silencing Netrin-1 results in less DA axons targeting to infralimbic cortex, but why the Netrin-1 knocking down mice revealed the improved behavior?

      This is indeed an intriguing finding, and we have now added a mention of it to our manuscript. We have demonstrated that misrouting dopamine axons away from the medial prefrontal cortex during adolescence alters behaviour, but why this improves their action impulsivity ability is something currently unknown to us. One potential answer is that the dopamine axons are misrouted to a different brain region that is also involved in controlling impulsive behaviour, perhaps the dorsal striatum (Kim and Im, 2019) or the orbital prefrontal cortex (Jonker et al., 2015).

      We would also like to note that we are finding that other manipulations that appear to reroute dopamine axons to unintended targets can lead to reduced action impulsivity as measured using the Go No Go task. As we mentioned above, current experiments in the lab, which are part of a different line of research, are showing that male mice exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence show reduced dopamine innervation in the medial prefrontal cortex in adulthood, but increased dopamine input in the orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, these mice show increased action impulsivity in the Go/No-Go task in adulthood (Capolicchio et al., Society for Neuroscience 2023 Abstracts)

      References

      Capolicchio T., Hernandez, G., Dube, E., Estrada, K., Giroux, M., Flores, C. (2023) Divergent outcomes of delta 9 - tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence on dopamine and cognitive development in male and female mice. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, United States [abstract].

      Jonker FA, Jonker C, Scheltens P, Scherder EJA. 2015. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in cognition and behavior. Rev Neurosci 26:1–11. doi:10.1515/revneuro2014-0043 Kim B, Im H. 2019. The role of the dorsal striatum in choice impulsivity. Ann N York Acad Sci 1451:92–111. doi:10.1111/nyas.13961

      (6) What is the effect of knocking down UNC5C on dopamine axons guidance to the cortex?

      We have found that mice that are heterozygous for a nonsense Unc5c mutation, and as a result have reduced levels of UNC5c protein, show reduced amphetamine-induced locomotion and stereotypy (Auger et al., 2013). In the same manuscript we show that this effect only emerges during adolescence, in concert with the growth of dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex. This is indirect but strong evidence that UNC5c receptors are necessary for correct adolescent dopamine axon development.

      References

      Auger ML, Schmidt ERE, Manitt C, Dal-Bo G, Pasterkamp RJ, Flores C. 2013. unc5c haploinsufficient phenotype: striking similarities with the dcc haploinsufficiency model. European Journal of Neuroscience 38:2853–2863. doi:10.1111/ejn.12270

      (7) In Figures 2-4, the authors only showed the amount of DA axons and UNC5C in NAcc. However, it remains unclear whether these experiments also impact the projections of dopaminergic axons to other brain regions, critical for the behavioral phenotypes. What about other brain regions such as prefrontal cortex? Do the projection of DA axons and UNC5c level in cortex have similar pattern to those in NAcc?

      UNC5c receptors are expressed throughout development and are involved in many developmental processes (Kim and Ackerman, 2011; Murcia-Belmonte et al., 2019; Srivatsa et al., 2014). We cannot say whether the pattern we observe here is unique to the nucleus accumbens, but it is certainly not universal throughout the brain.

      The brain region we focus on in our manuscript, in addition to the nucleus accumbens, is the medial prefrontal cortex. Close and thorough examination of the prefrontal cortices of adult mice revealed practically no UNC5c expression by dopamine axons. However, we did observe very rare cases of dopamine axons expressing UNC5c. It is not clear whether these rare cases are present before or during adolescence.

      Below is a representative set of images of this observation, which is now also included as Supplementary Figure 4:

      Author response image 5.

      Expression of UNC5c protein in the medial prefrontal cortex of an adult male mouse. Low (A) and high (B) magnification images demonstrate that there is little UNC5c expression in dopamine axons in the medial prefrontal cortex. Here we identify dopamine axons by immunofluorescent staining for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, see our response to comment #9 regarding the specificity of the TH antibody for dopamine axons in the prefrontal cortex). This figure is also included as Supplementary Figure 4 in the manuscript. Abbreviations: fmi: forceps minor of the corpus callosum, mPFC: medial prefrontal cortex.

      References:

      Kim D, Ackerman SL. 2011. The UNC5C Netrin Receptor Regulates Dorsal Guidance of Mouse Hindbrain Axons. J Neurosci 31:2167–2179. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.5254- 10.20110.2011

      Murcia-Belmonte V, Coca Y, Vegar C, Negueruela S, Romero C de J, Valiño AJ, Sala S, DaSilva R, Kania A, Borrell V, Martinez LM, Erskine L, Herrera E. 2019. A Retino-retinal Projection Guided by Unc5c Emerged in Species with Retinal Waves. Current Biology 29:1149-1160.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.052

      Srivatsa S, Parthasarathy S, Britanova O, Bormuth I, Donahoo A-L, Ackerman SL, Richards LJ, Tarabykin V. 2014. Unc5C and DCC act downstream of Ctip2 and Satb2 and contribute to corpus callosum formation. Nat Commun 5:3708. doi:10.1038/ncomms4708

      (8) Can overexpression of UNC5c or Netrin-1 in male winter hamsters mimic the observations in summer hamsters? Or overexpression of UNC5c in female summer hamsters to mimic the winter hamster? This would be helpful to confirm the causal role of UNC5C in guiding DA axons during adolescence.

      This is an excellent question. We are very interested in both increasing and decreasing UNC5c expression in hamster dopamine axons to see if we can directly manipulate summer hamsters into winter hamsters and vice versa. We are currently exploring virus-based approaches to design these experiments and are excited for results in this area.

      (9) The entire study relied on using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as a marker for dopaminergic axons. However, the expression of TH (either by IHC or IF) can be influenced by other environmental factors, that could alter the expression of TH at the cellular level.

      This is an excellent point that we now carefully address in our methods by adding the following:

      In this study we pay great attention to the morphology and localization of the fibres from which we quantify varicosities to avoid counting any fibres stained with TH antibodies that are not dopamine fibres. The fibres that we examine and that are labelled by the TH antibody show features indistinguishable from the classic features of cortical dopamine axons in rodents (Berger et al., 1974; 1983; Van Eden et al., 1987; Manitt et al., 2011), namely they are thin fibres with irregularly-spaced varicosities, are densely packed in the nucleus accumbens, sparsely present only in the deep layers of the prefrontal cortex, and are not regularly oriented in relation to the pial surface. This is in contrast to rodent norepinephrine fibres, which are smooth or beaded in appearance, relatively thick with regularly spaced varicosities, increase in density towards the shallow cortical layers, and are in large part oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the pial surface (Berger et al., 1974; Levitt and Moore, 1979; Berger et al., 1983; Miner et al., 2003). Furthermore, previous studies in rodents have noted that only norepinephrine cell bodies are detectable using immunofluorescence for TH, not norepinephrine processes (Pickel et al., 1975; Verney et al., 1982; Miner et al., 2003), and we did not observe any norepinephrine-like fibres.

      Furthermore, we are not aware of any other processes in the forebrain that are known to be immunopositive for TH under any environmental conditions.

      To reduce confusion, we have replaced the abbreviation for dopamine – DA – with TH in the relevant panels in Figures 1, 2, 3, and 4 to clarify exactly what is represented in these images. As can be seen in these images, fluorescent green labelling is present only in axons, which is to be expected of dopamine labelling in these forebrain regions.

      References:

      Berger B, Tassin JP, Blanc G, Moyne MA, Thierry AM (1974) Histochemical confirmation for dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex after destruction of the noradrenergic ascending pathways. Brain Res 81:332–337.

      Berger B, Verney C, Gay M, Vigny A (1983) Immunocytochemical Characterization of the Dopaminergic and Noradrenergic Innervation of the Rat Neocortex During Early Ontogeny. In: Proceedings of the 9th Meeting of the International Neurobiology Society, pp 263–267 Progress in Brain Research. Elsevier.

      Levitt P, Moore RY (1979) Development of the noradrenergic innervation of neocortex. Brain Res 162:243–259.

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C (2011) The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394.

      Miner LH, Schroeter S, Blakely RD, Sesack SR (2003) Ultrastructural localization of the norepinephrine transporter in superficial and deep layers of the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and its spatial relationship to probable dopamine terminals. J Comp Neurol 466:478–494.

      Pickel VM, Joh TH, Field PM, Becker CG, Reis DJ (1975) Cellular localization of tyrosine hydroxylase by immunohistochemistry. J Histochem Cytochem 23:1–12.

      Van Eden CG, Hoorneman EM, Buijs RM, Matthijssen MA, Geffard M, Uylings HBM (1987) Immunocytochemical localization of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the rat at the light and electron microscopical level. Neurosci 22:849–862.

      Verney C, Berger B, Adrien J, Vigny A, Gay M (1982) Development of the dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex. A light microscopic immunocytochemical study using anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibodies. Dev Brain Res 5:41–52.

      (10) Are Netrin-1/UNC5C the only signal guiding dopamine axon during adolescence? Are there other neuronal circuits involved in this process?

      Our intention for this study was to examine the role of Netrin-1 and its receptor UNC5C specifically, but we do not suggest that they are the only molecules to play a role. The process of guiding growing dopamine axons during adolescence is likely complex and we expect other guidance mechanisms to also be involved. From our previous work we know that the Netrin-1 receptor DCC is critical in this process (Hoops and Flores, 2017; Reynolds et al., 2023). Several other molecules have been identified in Netrin-1/DCC signaling processes that control corpus callosum development and there is every possibility that the same or similar molecules may be important in guiding dopamine axons (Schlienger et al., 2023).

      References:

      Hoops D, Flores C. 2017. Making Dopamine Connections in Adolescence. Trends in Neurosciences 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.09.004

      Reynolds LM, Hernandez G, MacGowan D, Popescu C, Nouel D, Cuesta S, Burke S, Savell KE, Zhao J, Restrepo-Lozano JM, Giroux M, Israel S, Orsini T, He S, Wodzinski M, Avramescu RG, Pokinko M, Epelbaum JG, Niu Z, Pantoja-Urbán AH, Trudeau L-É, Kolb B, Day JJ, Flores C. 2023. Amphetamine disrupts dopamine axon growth in adolescence by a sex-specific mechanism in mice. Nat Commun 14:4035. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-39665-1

      Schlienger S, Yam PT, Balekoglu N, Ducuing H, Michaud J-F, Makihara S, Kramer DK, Chen B, Fasano A, Berardelli A, Hamdan FF, Rouleau GA, Srour M, Charron F. 2023. Genetics of mirror movements identifies a multifunctional complex required for Netrin-1 guidance and lateralization of motor control. Sci Adv 9:eadd5501. doi:10.1126/sciadv.add5501

      (11) Finally, despite the authors' claim that the dopaminergic axon project is sensitive to the duration of daylight in the hamster, they never provided definitive evidence to support this hypothesis.

      By “definitive evidence” we think that the reviewer is requesting a single statistical model including measures from both the summer and winter groups. Such a model would provide a probability estimate of whether dopamine axon growth is sensitive to daylight duration. Therefore, we ran these models, one for male hamsters and one for female hamsters.

      In both sexes we find a significant effect of daylength on dopamine innervation, interacting with age. Male age by daylength interaction: F = 6.383, p = 0.00242. Female age by daylength interaction: F = 21.872, p = 1.97 x 10-9. The full statistical analysis is available as a supplement to this letter (Response_Letter_Stats_Details.docx).

      Reviewer 3

      (1) Fig 1 A and B don't appear to be the same section level.

      The reviewer is correct that Fig 1B is anterior to Fig 1A. We have changed Figure 1A to match the section level of Figure 1B.

      (2) Fig 1C. It is not clear that these axons are crossing from the shell of the NAC.

      We have added a dashed line to Figure 1C to highlight the boundary of the nucleus accumbens, which hopefully emphasizes that there are fibres crossing the boundary. We also include here an enlarged image of this panel:

      Author response image 6.

      An enlarged image of Figure1c in the manuscript. The nucleus accumbens (left of the dotted line) is densely packed with TH+ axons (in green). Some of these TH+ axons can be observed extending from the nucleus accumbens medially towards a region containing dorsally oriented TH+ fibres (white arrows).

      (3) Fig 1. Measuring width of the bundle is an odd way to measure DA axon numbers. First the width could be changing during adult for various reasons including change in brain size. Second, I wouldn't consider these axons in a traditional bundle. Third, could DA axon counts be provided, rather than these proxy measures.

      With regards to potential changes in brain size, we agree that this could have potentially explained the increased width of the dopamine axon pathway. That is why it was important for us to use stereology to measure the density of dopamine axons within the pathway. If the width increased but no new axons grew along the pathway, we would have seen a decrease in axon density from adolescence to adulthood. Instead, our results show that the density of axons remained constant.

      We agree with the reviewer that the dopamine axons do not form a traditional “bundle”. Therefore, throughout the manuscript we now avoid using the term bundle.

      Although we cannot count every single axon, an accurate estimate of this number can be obtained using stereology, an unbiassed method for efficiently quantifying large, irregularly distributed objects. We used stereology to count TH+ axons in an unbiased subset of the total area occupied by these axons. Unbiased stereology is the gold-standard technique for estimating populations of anatomical objects, such as axons, that are so numerous that it would be impractical or impossible to measure every single one. Here and elsewhere we generally provide results as densities and areas of occupancy (Reynolds et al., 2022). To avoid confusion, we now clarify that we are counting the width of the area that dopamine axons occupy (rather than the dopamine axon “bundle”).

      References:

      Reynolds LM, Pantoja-Urbán AH, MacGowan D, Manitt C, Nouel D, Flores C. 2022. Dopaminergic System Function and Dysfunction: Experimental Approaches. Neuromethods 31–63. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-2799-0_2

      (4) TH in the cortex could also be of noradrenergic origin. This needs to be ruled out to score DA axons

      This is the same comment as Reviewer 1 #9. Please see our response below, which we have also added to our methods:

      In this study we pay great attention to the morphology and localization of the fibres from which we quantify varicosities to avoid counting any fibres stained with TH antibodies that are not dopamine fibres. The fibres that we examine and that are labelled by the TH antibody show features indistinguishable from the classic features of cortical dopamine axons in rodents (Berger et al., 1974; 1983; Van Eden et al., 1987; Manitt et al., 2011), namely they are thin fibres with irregularly-spaced varicosities, are densely packed in the nucleus accumbens, sparsely present only in the deep layers of the prefrontal cortex, and are not regularly oriented in relation to the pial surface. This is in contrast to rodent norepinephrine fibres, which are smooth or beaded in appearance, relatively thick with regularly spaced varicosities, increase in density towards the shallow cortical layers, and are in large part oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the pial surface (Berger et al., 1974; Levitt and Moore, 1979; Berger et al., 1983; Miner et al., 2003). Furthermore, previous studies in rodents have noted that only norepinephrine cell bodies are detectable using immunofluorescence for TH, not norepinephrine processes (Pickel et al., 1975; Verney et al., 1982; Miner et al., 2003), and we did not observe any norepinephrine-like fibres.

      References:

      Berger B, Tassin JP, Blanc G, Moyne MA, Thierry AM (1974) Histochemical confirmation for dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex after destruction of the noradrenergic ascending pathways. Brain Res 81:332–337.

      Berger B, Verney C, Gay M, Vigny A (1983) Immunocytochemical Characterization of the Dopaminergic and Noradrenergic Innervation of the Rat Neocortex During Early Ontogeny. In: Proceedings of the 9th Meeting of the International Neurobiology Society, pp 263–267 Progress in Brain Research. Elsevier.

      Levitt P, Moore RY (1979) Development of the noradrenergic innervation of neocortex. Brain Res 162:243–259.

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C (2011) The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394.

      Miner LH, Schroeter S, Blakely RD, Sesack SR (2003) Ultrastructural localization of the norepinephrine transporter in superficial and deep layers of the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and its spatial relationship to probable dopamine terminals. J Comp Neurol 466:478–494.

      Pickel VM, Joh TH, Field PM, Becker CG, Reis DJ (1975) Cellular localization of tyrosine hydroxylase by immunohistochemistry. J Histochem Cytochem 23:1–12.

      Van Eden CG, Hoorneman EM, Buijs RM, Matthijssen MA, Geffard M, Uylings HBM (1987) Immunocytochemical localization of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the rat at the light and electron microscopical level. Neurosci 22:849–862.

      Verney C, Berger B, Adrien J, Vigny A, Gay M (1982) Development of the dopaminergic innervation of the rat cerebral cortex. A light microscopic immunocytochemical study using anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibodies. Dev Brain Res 5:41–52.

      (5) Netrin staining should be provided with NeuN + DAPI; its not clear these are all cell bodies. An in situ of Netrin would help as well.

      A similar comment was raised by Reviewer 1 in point #1. Please see below the immunofluorescent and RNA scope images showing expression of Netrin-1 protein and mRNA in the forebrain.

      Author response image 7.

      This confocal microscope image shows immunofluorescent staining for Netrin-1 (green) localized around cell nuclei (stained by DAPI in blue). This image was taken from a coronal section of the lateral septum of an adult male mouse. Scale bar = 20µm

      Author response image 8.

      This confocal microscope image of a coronal brain section of the medial prefrontal cortex of an adult male mouse shows Netrin-1 mRNA expression (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI, blue). RNAscope was used to generate this image. Brain regions are as follows: Cg1: Anterior cingulate cortex 1, DP: dorsopeduncular cortex, IL: Infralimbic Cortex, PrL: Prelimbic Cortex, fmi: forceps minor of the corpus callosum

      Author response image 9.

      A higher resolution image from the same sample as in Figure 2 shows Netrin-1 mRNA (green) and cell nuclei (DAPI; blue). DP = dorsopeduncular cortex

      (6) The Netrin knockdown needs validation. How strong was the knockdown etc?

      This comment was also raised by Reviewer 1 #1.

      We have previously established the efficacy of the shRNA Netrin-1 knockdown virus used in this experiment for reducing the expression of Netrin-1 (Cuesta et al., 2020). The shRNA reduces Netrin-1 levels in vitro and in vivo.

      References:

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      (7) If the conclusion that knocking down Netrin in cortex decreases DA innervation of the IL, how can that be reconciled with Netrin-Unc repulsion.

      This is an intriguing question and one that we are in the planning stages of addressing with new experiments.

      Although we do not have a mechanistic answered for how a repulsive receptor helps guide these axons, we would like to note that previous indirect evidence from a study by our group also suggests that reducing UNC5c signaling in dopamine axons in adolescence increases dopamine innervation to the prefrontal cortex (Auger et al, 2013).

      References

      Auger ML, Schmidt ERE, Manitt C, Dal-Bo G, Pasterkamp RJ, Flores C. 2013. unc5c haploinsufficient phenotype: striking similarities with the dcc haploinsufficiency model. European Journal of Neuroscience 38:2853–2863. doi:10.1111/ejn.12270

      (8) The behavioral phenotype in Fig 1 is interesting, but its not clear if its related to DA axons/signaling. IN general, no evidence in this paper is provided for the role of DA in the adolescent behaviors described.

      We agree with the reviewer that the behaviours we describe in adult mice are complex and are likely to involve several neurotransmitter systems. However, there is ample evidence for the role of dopamine signaling in cognitive control behaviours (Bari and Robbins, 2013; Eagle et al., 2008; Ott et al., 2023) and our published work has shown that alterations in the growth of dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex leads to changes in impulse control as measured via the Go/No-Go task in adulthood (Reynolds et al., 2023, 2018a; Vassilev et al., 2021).

      The other adolescent behaviour we examined was risk-like taking behaviour in male and female hamsters (Figures 4 and 5), as a means of characterizing maturation in this behavior over time. We decided not to use the Go/No-Go task because as far as we know, this has never been employed in Siberian Hamsters and it will be difficult to implement. Instead, we chose the light/dark box paradigm, which requires no training and is ideal for charting behavioural changes over short time periods. Indeed, risk-like taking behavior in rodents and in humans changes from adolescence to adulthood paralleling changes in prefrontal cortex development, including the gradual input of dopamine axons to this region.

      References:

      Bari A, Robbins TW. 2013. Inhibition and impulsivity: Behavioral and neural basis of response control. Progress in neurobiology 108:44–79. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2013.06.005

      Eagle DM, Bari A, Robbins TW. 2008. The neuropsychopharmacology of action inhibition: cross-species translation of the stop-signal and go/no-go tasks. Psychopharmacology 199:439–456. doi:10.1007/s00213-008-1127-6

      Ott T, Stein AM, Nieder A. 2023. Dopamine receptor activation regulates reward expectancy signals during cognitive control in primate prefrontal neurons. Nat Commun 14:7537. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-43271-6

      Reynolds LM, Hernandez G, MacGowan D, Popescu C, Nouel D, Cuesta S, Burke S, Savell KE, Zhao J, Restrepo-Lozano JM, Giroux M, Israel S, Orsini T, He S, Wodzinski M, Avramescu RG, Pokinko M, Epelbaum JG, Niu Z, Pantoja-Urbán AH, Trudeau L-É, Kolb B, Day JJ, Flores C. 2023. Amphetamine disrupts dopamine axon growth in adolescence by a sex-specific mechanism in mice. Nat Commun 14:4035. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-39665-1

      Reynolds LM, Pokinko M, Torres-Berrío A, Cuesta S, Lambert LC, Pellitero EDC, Wodzinski M, Manitt C, Krimpenfort P, Kolb B, Flores C. 2018a. DCC Receptors Drive Prefrontal Cortex Maturation by Determining Dopamine Axon Targeting in Adolescence. Biological psychiatry 83:181–192. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.06.009

      Vassilev P, Pantoja-Urban AH, Giroux M, Nouel D, Hernandez G, Orsini T, Flores C. 2021. Unique effects of social defeat stress in adolescent male mice on the Netrin-1/DCC pathway, prefrontal cortex dopamine and cognition (Social stress in adolescent vs. adult male mice). Eneuro ENEURO.0045-21.2021. doi:10.1523/eneuro.0045-21.2021

      (9) Fig2 - boxes should be drawn on the NAc diagram to indicate sampled regions. Some quantification of Unc5c would be useful. Also, some validation of the Unc5c antibody would be nice.

      The images presented were taken medial to the anterior commissure and we have edited Figure 2 to show this. However, we did not notice any intra-accumbens variation, including between the core and the shell. Therefore, the images are representative of what was observed throughout the entire nucleus accumbens.

      To quantify UNC5c in the accumbens we conducted a Western blot experiment in male mice at different ages. A one-way ANOVA analyzing band intensity (relative to the 15-day-old average band intensity) as the response variable and age as the predictor variable showed a significant effect of age (F=5.615, p=0.01). Posthoc analysis revealed that 15-day-old mice have less UNC5c in the nucleus accumbens compared to 21- and 35-day-old mice.

      Author response image 10.

      The graph depicts the results of a Western blot experiment of UNC5c protein levels in the nucleus accumbens of male mice at postnatal days 15, 21 or 35 and reveals a significant increase in protein levels at the onset adolescence.

      Our methods for this Western blot were as follows: Samples were prepared as previously (Torres-Berrío et al., 2017). Briefly, mice were sacrificed by live decapitation and brains were flash frozen in heptane on dry ice for 10 seconds. Frozen brains were mounted in a cryomicrotome and two 500um sections were collected for the nucleus accumbens, corresponding to plates 14 and 18 of the Paxinos mouse brain atlas. Two tissue core samples were collected per section, one for each side of the brain, using a 15-gauge tissue corer (Fine surgical tools Cat no. NC9128328) and ejected in a microtube on dry ice. The tissue samples were homogenized in 100ul of standard radioimmunoprecipitation assay buffer using a handheld electric tissue homogenizer. The samples were clarified by centrifugation at 4C at a speed of 15000g for 30 minutes. Protein concentration was quantified using a bicinchoninic acid assay kit (Pierce BCA protein assay kit, Cat no.PI23225) and denatured with standard Laemmli buffer for 5 minutes at 70C. 10ug of protein per sample was loaded and run by SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis in a Mini-PROTEAN system (Bio-Rad) on an 8% acrylamide gel by stacking for 30 minutes at 60V and resolving for 1.5 hours at 130V. The proteins were transferred to a nitrocellulose membrane for 1 hour at 100V in standard transfer buffer on ice. The membranes were blocked using 5% bovine serum albumin dissolved in tris-buffered saline with Tween 20 and probed with primary (UNC5c, Abcam Cat. no ab302924) and HRP-conjugated secondary antibodies for 1 hour. a-tubulin was probed and used as loading control. The probed membranes were resolved using SuperSignal West Pico PLUS chemiluminescent substrate (ThermoFisher Cat no.34579) in a ChemiDoc MP Imaging system (Bio-Rad). Band intensity was quantified using the ChemiDoc software and all ages were normalized to the P15 age group average.

      Validation of the UNC5c antibody was performed in the lab of Dr. Liu, from whom it was kindly provided. Briefly, in the validation study the authors showed that the anti-UNC5C antibody can detect endogenous UNC5C expression and the level of UNC5C is dramatically reduced after UNC5C knockdown. The antibody can also detect the tagged-UNC5C protein in several cell lines, which was confirmed by a tag antibody (Purohit et al., 2012; Shao et al., 2017).

      References:

      Purohit AA, Li W, Qu C, Dwyer T, Shao Q, Guan K-L, Liu G. 2012. Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (DSCAM) Associates with Uncoordinated-5C (UNC5C) in Netrin-1mediated Growth Cone Collapse. The Journal of biological chemistry 287:27126–27138. doi:10.1074/jbc.m112.340174

      Shao Q, Yang T, Huang H, Alarmanazi F, Liu G. 2017. Uncoupling of UNC5C with Polymerized TUBB3 in Microtubules Mediates Netrin-1 Repulsion. J Neurosci 37:5620–5633. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.2617-16.2017

      (10) "In adolescence, dopamine neurons begin to express the repulsive Netrin-1 receptor UNC5C, and reduction in UNC5C expression appears to cause growth of mesolimbic dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex".....This is confusing. Figure 2 shows a developmental increase in UNc5c not a decrease. So when is the "reduction in Unc5c expression" occurring?

      We apologize for the mistake in this sentence. We have corrected the relevant passage in our manuscript as follows:

      In adolescence, dopamine neurons begin to express the repulsive Netrin-1 receptor UNC5C, particularly when mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine projections segregate in the nucleus accumbens (Manitt et al., 2010; Reynolds et al., 2018a). In contrast, dopamine axons in the prefrontal cortex do not express UNC5c except in very rare cases (Supplementary Figure 4). In adult male mice with Unc5c haploinsufficiency, there appears to be ectopic growth of mesolimbic dopamine axons to the prefrontal cortex (Auger et al., 2013). This miswiring is associated with alterations in prefrontal cortex-dependent behaviours (Auger et al., 2013).

      References:

      Auger ML, Schmidt ERE, Manitt C, Dal-Bo G, Pasterkamp RJ, Flores C. 2013. unc5c haploinsufficient phenotype: striking similarities with the dcc haploinsufficiency model. European Journal of Neuroscience 38:2853–2863. doi:10.1111/ejn.12270

      Manitt C, Labelle-Dumais C, Eng C, Grant A, Mimee A, Stroh T, Flores C. 2010. Peri-Pubertal Emergence of UNC-5 Homologue Expression by Dopamine Neurons in Rodents. PLoS ONE 5:e11463-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011463

      Reynolds LM, Pokinko M, Torres-Berrío A, Cuesta S, Lambert LC, Pellitero EDC, Wodzinski M, Manitt C, Krimpenfort P, Kolb B, Flores C. 2018a. DCC Receptors Drive Prefrontal Cortex Maturation by Determining Dopamine Axon Targeting in Adolescence. Biological psychiatry 83:181–192. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.06.009

      (11) In Fig 3, a statistical comparison should be made between summer male and winter male, to justify the conclusions that the winter males have delayed DA innervation.

      This analysis was also suggested by Reviewer 1, #11. Here is our response:

      We analyzed the summer and winter data together in ANOVAs separately for males and females. In both sexes we find a significant effect of daylength on dopamine innervation, interacting with age. Male age by daylength interaction: F = 6.383, p = 0.00242. Female age by daylength interaction: F = 21.872, p = 1.97 x 10-9. The full statistical analysis is available as a supplement to this letter (Response_Letter_Stats_Details.docx).

      (12) Should axon length also be measured here (Fig 3)? It is not clear why the authors have switched to varicosity density. Also, a box should be drawn in the NAC cartoon to indicate the region that was sampled.

      It is untenable to quantify axon length in the prefrontal cortex as we cannot distinguish independent axons. Rather, they are “tangled”; they twist and turn in a multitude of directions as they make contact with various dendrites. Furthermore, they branch extensively. It would therefore be impossible to accurately quantify the number of axons. Using unbiased stereology to quantify varicosities is a valid, well-characterized and straightforward alternative (Reynolds et al., 2022).

      References:

      Reynolds LM, Pantoja-Urbán AH, MacGowan D, Manitt C, Nouel D, Flores C. 2022. Dopaminergic System Function and Dysfunction: Experimental Approaches. Neuromethods 31–63. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-2799-0_2

      (13) In Fig 3, Unc5c should be quantified to bolster the interesting finding that Unc5c expression dynamics are different between summer and winter hamsters. Unc5c mRNA experiments would also be important to see if similar changes are observed at the transcript level.

      We agree that it would be very interesting to see how UNC5c mRNA and protein levels change over time in summer and winter hamsters, both in males, as the reviewer suggests here, and in females. We are working on conducting these experiments in hamsters as part of a broader expansion of our research in this area. These experiments will require a lengthy amount of time and at this point we feel that they are beyond the scope of this manuscript.

      (14) Fig 4. The peak in exploratory behavior in winter females is counterintuitive and needs to be better discussed. IN general, the light dark behavior seems quite variable.

      This is indeed a very interesting finding, which we have expanded upon in our manuscript as follows:

      When raised under a winter-mimicking daylength, hamsters of either sex show a protracted peak in risk taking. In males, it is delayed beyond 80 days old, but the delay is substantially less in females. This is a counterintuitive finding considering that dopamine development in winter females appears to be accelerated. Our interpretation of this finding is that the timing of the risk-taking peak in females may reflect a balance between different adolescent developmental processes. The fact that dopamine axon growth is accelerated does not imply that all adolescent maturational processes are accelerated. Some may be delayed, for example those that induce axon pruning in the cortex. The timing of the risk-taking peak in winter female hamsters may therefore reflect the amalgamation of developmental processes that are advanced with those that are delayed – producing a behavioural effect that is timed somewhere in the middle. Disentangling the effects of different developmental processes on behaviour will require further experiments in hamsters, including the direct manipulation of dopamine activity in the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex.

      Full Reference List

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      Bari A, Robbins TW. 2013. Inhibition and impulsivity: Behavioral and neural basis of response control. Progress in neurobiology 108:44–79. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2013.06.005

      Cuesta S, Nouel D, Reynolds LM, Morgunova A, Torres-Berrío A, White A, Hernandez G, Cooper HM, Flores C. 2020. Dopamine Axon Targeting in the Nucleus Accumbens in Adolescence Requires Netrin-1. Frontiers Cell Dev Biology 8:487. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00487

      Daubaras M, Bo GD, Flores C. 2014. Target-dependent expression of the netrin-1 receptor, UNC5C, in projection neurons of the ventral tegmental area. Neuroscience 260:36–46. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.12.007

      Eagle DM, Bari A, Robbins TW. 2008. The neuropsychopharmacology of action inhibition: crossspecies translation of the stop-signal and go/no-go tasks. Psychopharmacology 199:439– 456. doi:10.1007/s00213-008-1127-6

      Hoops D, Flores C. 2017. Making Dopamine Connections in Adolescence. Trends in Neurosciences 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.09.004

      Jonker FA, Jonker C, Scheltens P, Scherder EJA. 2015. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in cognition and behavior. Rev Neurosci 26:1–11. doi:10.1515/revneuro-2014-0043

      Kim B, Im H. 2019. The role of the dorsal striatum in choice impulsivity. Ann N York Acad Sci 1451:92–111. doi:10.1111/nyas.13961

      Kim D, Ackerman SL. 2011. The UNC5C Netrin Receptor Regulates Dorsal Guidance of Mouse Hindbrain Axons. J Neurosci 31:2167–2179. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.5254-10.2011

      Manitt C, Labelle-Dumais C, Eng C, Grant A, Mimee A, Stroh T, Flores C. 2010. Peri-Pubertal Emergence of UNC-5 Homologue Expression by Dopamine Neurons in Rodents. PLoS ONE 5:e11463-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011463

      Murcia-Belmonte V, Coca Y, Vegar C, Negueruela S, Romero C de J, Valiño AJ, Sala S, DaSilva R, Kania A, Borrell V, Martinez LM, Erskine L, Herrera E. 2019. A Retino-retinal Projection Guided by Unc5c Emerged in Species with Retinal Waves. Current Biology 29:1149-1160.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.052

      Ott T, Stein AM, Nieder A. 2023. Dopamine receptor activation regulates reward expectancy signals during cognitive control in primate prefrontal neurons. Nat Commun 14:7537. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-43271-6

      Phillips RA, Tuscher JJ, Black SL, Andraka E, Fitzgerald ND, Ianov L, Day JJ. 2022. An atlas of transcriptionally defined cell populations in the rat ventral tegmental area. Cell Reports 39:110616. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110616

      Purohit AA, Li W, Qu C, Dwyer T, Shao Q, Guan K-L, Liu G. 2012. Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (DSCAM) Associates with Uncoordinated-5C (UNC5C) in Netrin-1-mediated Growth Cone Collapse. The Journal of biological chemistry 287:27126–27138. doi:10.1074/jbc.m112.340174

      Reynolds LM, Hernandez G, MacGowan D, Popescu C, Nouel D, Cuesta S, Burke S, Savell KE, Zhao J, Restrepo-Lozano JM, Giroux M, Israel S, Orsini T, He S, Wodzinski M, Avramescu RG, Pokinko M, Epelbaum JG, Niu Z, Pantoja-Urbán AH, Trudeau L-É, Kolb B, Day JJ, Flores C. 2023. Amphetamine disrupts dopamine axon growth in adolescence by a sex-specific mechanism in mice. Nat Commun 14:4035. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-39665-1

      Reynolds LM, Pantoja-Urbán AH, MacGowan D, Manitt C, Nouel D, Flores C. 2022. Dopaminergic System Function and Dysfunction: Experimental Approaches. Neuromethods 31–63. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-2799-0_2

      Reynolds LM, Pokinko M, Torres-Berrío A, Cuesta S, Lambert LC, Pellitero EDC, Wodzinski M, Manitt C, Krimpenfort P, Kolb B, Flores C. 2018a. DCC Receptors Drive Prefrontal Cortex Maturation by Determining Dopamine Axon Targeting in Adolescence. Biological psychiatry 83:181–192. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.06.009

      Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette M-P, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018b. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

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      Private Comments

      Reviewer #1

      (12) The language should be improved. Some expression is confusing (line178-179). Also some spelling errors (eg. Figure 1M).

      We have removed the word “Already” to make the sentence in lines 178-179 clearer, however we cannot find a spelling error in Figure 1M or its caption. We have further edited the manuscript for clarity and flow.

      Reviewer #2

      (1) The authors claim to have revealed how the 'timing of adolescence is programmed in the brain'. While their findings certainly shed light on molecular, circuit and behavioral processes that are unique to adolescence, their claim may be an overstatement. I suggest they refine this statement to discuss more specifically the processes they observed in the brain and animal behavior, rather than adolescence itself.

      We agree with the reviewer and have revised the manuscript to specify that we are referring to the timing of specific developmental processes that occur in the adolescent brain, not adolescence overall.

      (2) Along the same lines, the authors should also include a more substantiative discussion of how they selected their ages for investigation (for both mice and hamsters), For mice, their definition of adolescence (P21) is earlier than some (e.g. Spear L.P., Neurosci. and Beh. Reviews, 2000).

      There are certainly differences of opinion between researchers as to the precise definition of adolescence and the period it encompasses. Spear, 2000, provides one excellent discussion of the challenges related to identifying adolescence across species. This work gives specific ages only for rats, not mice (as we use here), and characterizes post-natal days 28-42 as being the conservative age range of “peak” adolescence (page 419, paragraph 1). Immediately thereafter the review states that the full adolescent period is longer than this, and it could encompass post-natal days 20-55 (page 419, paragraph 2).

      We have added the following statement to our methods:

      There is no universally accepted way to define the precise onset of adolescence. Therefore, there is no clear-cut boundary to define adolescent onset in rodents (Spear, 2000). Puberty can be more sharply defined, and puberty and adolescence overlap in time, but the terms are not interchangeable. Puberty is the onset of sexual maturation, while adolescence is a more diffuse period marked by the gradual transition from a juvenile state to independence. We, and others, suggest that adolescence in rodents spans from weaning (postnatal day 21) until adulthood, which we take to start on postnatal day 60 (Reynolds and Flores, 2021). We refer to “early adolescence” as the first two weeks postweaning (postnatal days 21-34). These ranges encompass discrete DA developmental periods (Kalsbeek et al., 1988; Manitt et al., 2011; Reynolds et al., 2018a), vulnerability to drug effects on DA circuitry (Hammerslag and Gulley, 2014; Reynolds et al., 2018a), and distinct behavioral characteristics (Adriani and Laviola, 2004; Makinodan et al., 2012; Schneider, 2013; Wheeler et al., 2013).

      References:

      Adriani W, Laviola G. 2004. Windows of vulnerability to psychopathology and therapeutic strategy in the adolescent rodent model. Behav Pharmacol 15:341–352. doi:10.1097/00008877-200409000-00005

      Hammerslag LR, Gulley JM. 2014. Age and sex differences in reward behavior in adolescent and adult rats. Dev Psychobiol 56:611–621. doi:10.1002/dev.21127

      Hoops D, Flores C. 2017. Making Dopamine Connections in Adolescence. Trends in Neurosciences 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.09.004

      Kalsbeek A, Voorn P, Buijs RM, Pool CW, Uylings HBM. 1988. Development of the Dopaminergic Innervation in the Prefrontal Cortex of the Rat. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 269:58–72. doi:10.1002/cne.902690105

      Makinodan M, Rosen KM, Ito S, Corfas G. 2012. A critical period for social experiencedependent oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination. Science 337:1357–1360. doi:10.1126/science.1220845

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C. 2011. The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0606-11.2011

      Reynolds LM, Flores C. 2021. Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Pathways Across Adolescence: Diversity in Development. Front Neural Circuit 15:735625. doi:10.3389/fncir.2021.735625

      Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette MP, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

      Schneider M. 2013. Adolescence as a vulnerable period to alter rodent behavior. Cell and tissue research 354:99–106. Doi:10.1007/s00441-013-1581-2

      Spear LP. 2000. Neurobehavioral Changes in Adolescence. Current directions in psychological science 9:111–114. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00072

      Wheeler AL, Lerch JP, Chakravarty MM, Friedel M, Sled JG, Fletcher PJ, Josselyn SA, Frankland PW. 2013. Adolescent Cocaine Exposure Causes Enduring Macroscale Changes in Mouse Brain Structure. J Neurosci 33:1797–1803. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.3830-12.2013

      (3) Figure 1 - the conclusions hinge on the Netrin-1 staining, as shown in panel G, but the cells are difficult to see. It would be helpful to provide clearer, more zoomed images so readers can better assess the staining. Since Netrin-1 expression reduces dramatically after P4 and they had to use antigen retrieval to see signal, it would be helpful to show some images from additional brain regions and ages to see if expression levels follow predicted patterns. For instance, based on the allen brain atlas, it seems that around P21, there should be high levels of Netrin-1 in the cerebellum, but low levels in the cortex. These would be nice controls to demonstrate the specificity and sensitivity of the antibody in older tissue.

      We do not study the cerebellum and have never stained this region; doing so now would require generating additional tissue and we’re not sure it would add enough to the information provided to be worthwhile. Note that we have stained the forebrain for Netrin-1 previously, providing broad staining of many brain regions (Manitt et al., 2011)

      References:

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C. 2011. The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0606-11.2011

      (4) Figure 3 - Because mice tend to avoid brightly-lit spaces, the light/dark box is more commonly used as a measure of anxiety-like behavior than purely exploratory behavior (including in the paper they cited). It is important to address this possibility in their discussion of their findings. To bolster their conclusions about the coincidence of circuit and behavioral changes in adolescent hamsters, it would be useful to add an additional measure of exploratory behaviors (e.g. hole board).

      Regarding the light/dark box test, this is an excellent point. We prefer the term “risk taking” to “anxiety-like” and now use the former term in our manuscript. Furthermore, our interest in the behaviour is purely to chart the development of adolescent behaviour across our treatment groups, not to study a particular emotional state. Regardless of the specific emotion or emotions governing the light/dark box behaviour, it is an ideal test for charting adolescent shifts in behaviour as it is well-characterized in this respect, as we discuss in our manuscript.

      (5) Supplementary Figure 4,5 The authors defined puberty onset using uterine and testes weights in hamsters. While the weights appear to be different for summer and winter hamsters, there were no statistical comparison. Please add statistical analyses to bolster claims about puberty start times. Also, as many studies use vaginal opening to define puberty onset, it would be helpful to discuss how these measurements typically align and cite relevant literature that described use of uterine weights. Also, Supplementary Figures 4 and 5 were mis-cited as Supp. Fig. 2 in the text (e.g. line 317 and others).

      These are great suggestions. We have added statistical analyses to Supplementary Figures 5 and 6 and provided Vaginal Opening data as Supplementary Figure 7. The statistical analyses confirm that all three characters are delayed in winter hamsters compared to summer hamsters.

      We have also added the following references to the manuscript:

      Darrow JM, Davis FC, Elliott JA, Stetson MH, Turek FW, Menaker M. 1980. Influence of Photoperiod on Reproductive Development in the Golden Hamster. Biol Reprod 22:443–450. doi:10.1095/biolreprod22.3.443

      Ebling FJP. 1994. Photoperiodic Differences during Development in the Dwarf Hamsters Phodopus sungorus and Phodopus campbelli. Gen Comp Endocrinol 95:475–482. doi:10.1006/gcen.1994.1147

      Timonin ME, Place NJ, Wanderi E, Wynne-Edwards KE. 2006. Phodopus campbelli detect reduced photoperiod during development but, unlike Phodopus sungorus, retain functional reproductive physiology. Reproduction 132:661–670. doi:10.1530/rep.1.00019

      (6) The font in many figure panels is small and hard to read (e.g. 1A,D,E,H,I,L...). Please increase the size for legibility.

      We have increased the font size of our figure text throughout the manuscript.

      Reviewer #3

      (15) Fig 1 C,D. Clarify the units of the y axis

      We have now fixed this.

      Full Reference List

      Adriani W, Laviola G. 2004. Windows of vulnerability to psychopathology and therapeutic strategy in the adolescent rodent model. Behav Pharmacol 15:341–352. doi:10.1097/00008877-200409000-00005

      Hammerslag LR, Gulley JM. 2014. Age and sex differences in reward behavior in adolescent and adult rats. Dev Psychobiol 56:611–621. doi:10.1002/dev.21127

      Hoops D, Flores C. 2017. Making Dopamine Connections in Adolescence. Trends in Neurosciences 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.09.004

      Kalsbeek A, Voorn P, Buijs RM, Pool CW, Uylings HBM. 1988. Development of the Dopaminergic Innervation in the Prefrontal Cortex of the Rat. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 269:58–72. doi:10.1002/cne.902690105

      Makinodan M, Rosen KM, Ito S, Corfas G. 2012. A critical period for social experiencedependent oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination. Science 337:1357–1360. doi:10.1126/science.1220845

      Manitt C, Mimee A, Eng C, Pokinko M, Stroh T, Cooper HM, Kolb B, Flores C. 2011. The Netrin Receptor DCC Is Required in the Pubertal Organization of Mesocortical Dopamine Circuitry. J Neurosci 31:8381–8394. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0606-11.2011

      Reynolds LM, Flores C. 2021. Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Pathways Across Adolescence: Diversity in Development. Front Neural Circuit 15:735625. doi:10.3389/fncir.2021.735625 Reynolds LM, Yetnikoff L, Pokinko M, Wodzinski M, Epelbaum JG, Lambert LC, Cossette M-P, Arvanitogiannis A, Flores C. 2018. Early Adolescence is a Critical Period for the Maturation of Inhibitory Behavior. Cerebral cortex 29:3676–3686. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy247

      Schneider M. 2013. Adolescence as a vulnerable period to alter rodent behavior. Cell and tissue research 354:99–106. doi:10.1007/s00441-013-1581-2

      Spear LP. 2000. Neurobehavioral Changes in Adolescence. Current directions in psychological science 9:111–114. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00072

      Wheeler AL, Lerch JP, Chakravarty MM, Friedel M, Sled JG, Fletcher PJ, Josselyn SA, Frankland PW. 2013. Adolescent Cocaine Exposure Causes Enduring Macroscale Changes in Mouse Brain Structure. J Neurosci 33:1797–1803. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.3830-12.2013

    1. Note: This response was posted by the corresponding author to Review Commons. The content has not been altered except for formatting.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      We thank the reviewers for their valuable comments, which definitely make our story stronger.

      2. Description of the planned revisions

      Reviewer 1

      Comments:

      No data are shown from the genome-wide screening approach, including the common regulators of KRAS and HRAS. Information about how imaging data were processed and analysed is missing. A final table of 8 selected factors with phosphatase activity is presented without providing further insight about the selection criteria and other factors.

      This information will be included in the revised manuscript. In the subsequent characterization via image-based quantification of GFP-KRAS membrane localization, a Manders´ coefficient was calculated. A respective chapter in the methods section on how this was done is missing.

      This information will be provided in the revised manuscript. I would be happy to see the following analyses to strengthen the dataset:

      • Reconstitution experiments and further validation to show that it is dependent on the enzymatic activity of MTMRs.

      MTMR3 knockdown (KD) cells will be rescued with wildtype (WT) MTMR3 or the phosphatase mutant MTMR3 (C413S, PMID: 11676921). MTMR4 KD cells will be rescued with WT MTMR4 or the phosphatase mutant MTMR4 (C407S, PMID: 20736309). In these cells, the PM localization of KRAS and PtdSer will be examined by confocal and electron microscopy. - Additive effect upon depletion of multiple MTMRs? Are they functionally co-operative?

      MTMR3 and 4 KD cells will be rescued with WT MTMR4 and 3, respectively, and the PM localization of KRAS and PtdSer will be examined by confocal and electron microscopy. - Signalling analysis is very limited (Fig. 5). Do the authors detect any defects in K-RAS driven downstream signaling in these cells upon depletion of MTMRs.

      Human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines that harbor oncogenic mutant KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-dependent (MiaPaCa2 and AsPC1), and PDAC cell line harboring WT KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-independent (BxPC3) will be infected with lentivirus expressing shRNAs against MTMR 2, 3, 4 or 7. Their growth (proliferation assay) and KRAS signaling (e.g. phosphorylated ERK and Akt by immunoblot) will be measure. Reviewer 2

      Major comments

      The unbiased siRNA screen used to identify proteins that impact KRAS membrane localization was a very nice approach to identify MTMR proteins. Although there is a clear phenotype of KRAS mislocalization associated with knockdown of the various MTMR proteins, the data provided does not prove a causational role for the MTMR proteins in maintaining PtdSer content, nor KRAS localization, at the PM. The current data does not provide a mechanism by which MTMR proteins are influencing this process, but rather speculates using existing literature that it is the loss in MTMR 3-phosphotase activity that leads to decreased PtdSer in the membrane. There is a series of conversions and exchanges that act upon PI3P (the substrate of MTMR proteins) and PI to generate PtdSer in the PM; thus, it is a dynamic process that is influenced by a variety of different proteins and transporters [3, 4, 5, 6]. To prove their single-protein-driven hypothesis, the authors should clone and express a mutant MTMR protein construct that contains an inactive phosphatase catalytic domain, to prove that it is indeed MTMR's generation of PI (which is further converted into PI4P) in the membrane that is responsible for maintaining PtdSer content and KRAS localization. Without this, there is not enough evidence to support this claim.

      MTMR3 knockdown (KD) cells will be rescued with wildtype (WT) MTMR3 or the phosphatase mutant MTMR3 (C413S, PMID: 11676921). MTMR4 KD cells will be rescued with WT MTMR4 or the phosphatase mutant MTMR4 (C407S, PMID: 20736309). In these cells, the PM localization of KRAS and PtdSer will be examined by confocal and electron microscopy. In addition, the authors speculate that ORP5 is a critical intermediate in this process, and that the loss in PI4P/ORP5 at the PM following MTMR knockdown is responsible for the decrease in PtdSer at the PM. The authors should knockdown ORP5 in MTMR-wildtype cells, since it is downstream of their proposed mechanism, and see whether this leads to comparable reductions in PtdSer levels and KRAS mislocalization at the PM. This would confirm ORP5 as having a major role in this setting and would support the initial mechanistic hypothesis. These experiments are imperative to forming an appropriate conclusion, especially since some of their current data contradicts their mechanistic hypothesis: the authors identify a decrease in whole cell PtdSer content, not just PM PtdSer content, when MTMR proteins are knocked down. Based on this result, one would predict that a secondary or supporting mechanism must exist that contributes to a reduction in whole cell PtdSer content, which likely contributes to its loss at the PM as well. The authors describe in line 360 how "previous work has shown that PM PI4P depletion indirectly blocks PtdSer synthase 1 and 2 activities," to explain this reduction in total cell levels of PtdSer. The authors should look at PtdSer synthase 1 and 2 activities in the presence of MTMR knockdown, as the loss in PtdSer at the PM may rely more heavily on synthase activity than ORP-dependent transfer of PtdSer.

      Investigating the PM localization of KRAS and PtdSer after silencing ORP5 in MTMR WT mammalian cell lines has been published (PMID: 31451509 and 34903667). In these studies, silencing ORP5 1) reduces the levels of PtdSer and KRAS from the plasma membrane (PM), 2) reduces KRAS signal output, 3) blocks the growth of KRAS-dependent PDAC in vitro and in vivo. These studies have been appropriately cited in our manuscript in lines 82 and 277. Although the c. Elegans model that was used to investigate downstream let-60 (RAS ortholog) activity through a multi-vulva phenotype is quite intriguing, it is more critical to assess downstream RAS pathway activation, especially in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma or the human mammary gland ductal carcinoma cell lines. Not only would this line of questioning provide a higher significance and increase the clinical applicability of these findings, but it is also crucial to support the author's claim that MTMR knockdown can influence mutant KRAS activity. Although small changes in KRAS localization to the PM can have significant effects on downstream signaling, these effects need to be measured and confirmed in this setting. The authors should perform western blots to assess the activation of both the PI3K and MAPK pathway in the MTMR knockdown cell lines.

      Human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines that harbor oncogenic mutant KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-dependent (MiaPaCa2 and AsPC1), and PDAC cell line harboring WT KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-independent (BxPC3) will be infected with lentivirus expressing shRNAs against MTMR 2, 3, 4 or 7. Their growth (proliferation assay) and KRAS signaling (e.g. phosphorylated ERK and Akt by immunoblot) will be measure. In addition to this, it might be important to know whether there are any changes in the levels of the KRAS protein itself, as recycling/transport pathways may be impacted by its lack of recruitment to the plasma membrane.

      Total KRAS protein expression will be measured in MTMR KD cell lines. Finally, the authors show that proliferation is inhibited by MTMR knockdown as a readout of RAS activity. The authors should also assess the levels of cell death, as the inhibition of mutant KRAS in cancer cells would likely lead to cell death. The authors do not describe why reducing any one of the MTMR proteins alone is sufficient to deplete the PM of PtdSer. This sort of discussion is important for understanding compensatory or regulatory mechanisms in place between the MTMR proteins, as this may influence PtdSer levels at the PM. For example, it has been shown that MTMR2 can stabilize MTMR13 on membranes. Do the levels, stability, or localization of the other MTMR proteins change when one specific MTMR is knocked down? Is this why we see an effect on PtdSer in any one of the knockdowns? The authors should at the very least provide western blots for each of the MTMR proteins discussed in the presence of each individual MTMR knockdown.

      MTMR3 knockdown (KD) cells will be rescued with WT MTMR3 or the phosphatase mutant MTMR3 (C413S, PMID: 11676921). MTMR4 KD cells will be rescued with WT MTMR4 or the phosphatase mutant MTMR4 (C407S, PMID: 20736309). In these cells, the PM localization of KRAS and PtdSer will be examined by confocal and electron microscopy. In addition, we will measure endogenous MTMR 2/3/4/7 proteins levels in the presence of each individual MTMR KD by immunoblotting. In addition to the above experiments, the MTMR hairpins should be expressed in a secondary or tertiary cell line to prove that these events are not specific to the current model used. Since their current human mammary gland ductal carcinoma cell line overexpresses a mutant KRAS-GFP construct, perhaps doing similar experiments in a cancer cell line that already expresses an endogenous mutant KRAS might provide a better model.

      Human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines that harbor oncogenic mutant KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-dependent (MiaPaCa2 and AsPC1), and PDAC cell line harboring WT KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-independent (BxPC3) will be infected with lentivirus expressing shRNAs against MTMR 2, 3, 4 or 7. Their growth (proliferation assay) and KRAS signaling (e.g. phosphorylated ERK and Akt by immunoblot) will be measure. Although this protein would not include a GFP-tag, other ways of visualizing its localization at the PM (such as immunofluorescent staining) could be used to confirm its localization there.

      The anti-KRAS antibody for IF has not been reported to my knowledge. In addition, the effects on downstream RAS signaling could be measured through western blot of PI3K and MAPK pathways.

      Human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines that harbor oncogenic mutant KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-dependent (MiaPaCa2 and AsPC1), and PDAC cell line harboring WT KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-independent (BxPC3) will be infected with lentivirus expressing shRNAs against MTMR 2, 3, 4 or 7. Their growth (proliferation assay) and KRAS signaling (e.g. phosphorylated ERK and Akt by immunoblot) will be measure. Supplemental Figure 4 is incorrectly referred to in the text as Supplemental Figure 3 (line 257-258). The text reads, "Confocal microscopy further demonstrates that HRASG12V cellular localization is not disrupted after silencing MTMR 2/3/4/7 (Fig. S3)" but Figure S3 is an EM image of PM basal sheets from T47D cells expressing GFP-KRASG12V. Supplemental Figure 4 shows that mutant HRAS is unaffected by the various MTMR knockdowns.

      They will be labeled correctly in the revised manuscript. Since the authors show decreased proliferation in mutant KRAS cells following MTMR knockdown, the authors should also investigate any changes to proliferation rates in mutant HRAS cell lines following MTMR knockdown. This data is necessary to prove that MTMR-driven changes in downstream RAS signaling are specific to mutant KRAS and not mutant HRAS.

      Cell proliferation assay will be performed using MTMR 2/3/4/7-silenced T47D cell lines stably expressing oncogenic mutant HRAS (HRASG12V) to address this questions. It may also be important for the authors to also show any effects on wildtype RAS localization to the PM when MTMR-2,-3,-4, and -7 are knocked down, to show whether this is a oncoprotein-specific event.

      Cells expressing the truncated mutant KRAS, which contains the minimal membrane anchor and does not have G-domain will be infected with lentivirus expressing shRNA against MTMR 2/3/4/7, and their localization will be examined. The representative images chosen for Figure 4 diminish the reliability of the data, as it is difficult to see a visible change in the PI3P probe between the control and MTMR knockdown cells in these images. Since the authors rely on the Mander's coefficient and the number of gold particles throughout much of the paper, having the same conclusion quantitatively but not qualitatively for these assays is confusing. Perhaps the authors should elaborate on whether MTMR knockdown has a stronger effect on PtSer and KRAS PM presence than PI3P PM presence.

      We will include the discussion in the revised manuscript. They should also describe their method for identifying early endosomes, since they switch back and forth between describing the content of the PM and of early endosomes, such as in Figure 1 and Figure 4.

      We will include the information in the revised manuscript. Minor comments:

      An additional experiment that may add another layer of clinical applicability would be the use of an MTMR inhibitor in this cell line, to see whether similar effects can be achieved pharmacologically [7]. This would provoke other researchers to investigate MTMR inhibitors in vitro and in vivo to assess the effect on mutant KRAS cancers.

      • This is an important point, but while vanadate, a general phospho-tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) inhibitor, has been reported to inhibit myotubulin, a family member of MTMR (PMID: 8995372 and 1943774), there are no commercially available MTMR-specific inhibitors. Using vanadate to inhibit MTMR proteins will produce non-specific effects by blocking other PTPs. The inclusion of cell lines that express KRAS proteins of different mutational statuses would be extremely interesting, as KRAS' orientation within the plasma membrane has been shown to be altered by these mutations. This fact should potentially be considered when choosing a secondary or tertiary cell line to do additional experiments in, but it is not necessary for the authors to elaborate on how MTMR proteins may impact different KRAS mutants for the scope of this project.

      For the aforementioned experiments using human KRAS-dependent and -independent PDAC cell lines, we will use MiaPaCa2 (KRASG12C) and AsPC1 (KRASG12D). Reviewer #3

      *Major comments: *

      One of the two main manuscript claims indicates that KRAS12V "function" is impaired upon MTMR knockdown. While this is an obvious phenotype expected by mislocalizing KRAS from the inner PM it is not sufficiently demonstrated in the current version of the manuscript. Western blots of at least MAPK and PI3K signalling following MTMR knockdown in KRAS-dependent cell lines should be included. In addition to the T47D cells used in the manuscript, it would be ideal to include a KRAS-mutant cell line from tumour types where KRAS mutations are more frequent that in breast.

      • Human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines that harbor oncogenic mutant KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-dependent (MiaPaCa2 and AsPC1), and PDAC cell line harboring WT KRAS and their growth is KRAS signaling-independent (BxPC3) will be infected with lentivirus expressing shRNAs against MTMR 2, 3, 4 or 7. Their growth (proliferation assay) and KRAS signaling (e.g. phosphorylated ERK and Akt by immunoblot) will be measure. Since the MTMR dependent phenotypes are mutant-KRAS specific it would be interesting to study the resulting phenotypes in HRAS-mutant cell line.

      Cell proliferation assay will be performed using MTMR 2/3/4/7-silenced T47D cell lines stably expressing oncogenic mutant HRAS (HRASG12V) to address these questions.

      **Referee cross-commenting**

      After reading the reviews of my colleagues I think there is a clear agreement on the need to further substantiate that KRAS membrane mis-localization is indeed affecting oncogenic output. The use of other KRAS addicted and non-addicted models would further enhance this analysis.

      Likewise, the other two reviewers request experimental evidences to validate the role of MTMR enzymatic activity in the process. This is a pertinent request that I failed to put forward. Suggestions include the use of reconstitution experiments catalytically dead mutants. Also, the use of MTMR small molecule inhibitors is proposed. If those exist with sufficient specificity this would indeed be appropriate to perform.

      Experiments addressing these comments have been described above.

      3. Description of the revisions that have already been incorporated in the transferred manuscript

      N/A

      • *

      4. Description of analyses that authors prefer not to carry out

      *Please include a point-by-point response explaining why some of the requested data or additional analyses might not be necessary or cannot be provided within the scope of a revision. *

      Reviewer 2

      R2 suggests to investigate PtdSer synthase 1 and 2 activities in presence of MTMR knockdown, as the loss in PtdSer at the PM may rely more heavily on synthase activity than ORP-dependent transfer of PtdSer.

      Although it is intriguing to examine the effect of MTMR loss on the activities of PtdSer synthase 1 and 2, our lab does not have resources/techniques to carry out the experiment. * *

      The results of this paper rely heavily on one experimental technique, which is calculating a Mander's coefficient and counting the co-localization of the probe of interest with the CellMask stain of the plasma membrane. How this coefficient is derived is explained in appropriate detail in the methods section of this manuscript; however, a secondary route of identifying these changes in membrane constituents would greatly enhance the paper's conclusions. This would eliminate any doubt surrounding the accuracy of the technique, since so much of the data relies on one experimental output.

      In addition to Manders' coefficient for examining the colocalization of KRAS and LactC2 (the PtdSer probe) to propose KRAS/PS redistribution to endomembranes after MTMR loss. To complement this, we also performed quantitative EM to demonstrate the PM depletion of KRAS and PtdSer from the inner PM leaflet. We believe these two techniques would appropriate to investigate KRAS/PtdSer PM depletion and cellular re-distribution. * *

      Reviewer 3

      To further support the conclusions, oncogenic signalling should be studied in the C.elegans model by immunofluorescence of immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, although not strictly required to support the author's claims, it would be interesting to elucidate whether the inhibition of the multivulva phenotype upon MTMR knockdown in vivo results as a consequence of cell death.

      Our collaborator for C. elegans study does not have resources to carry out the proposed IF and IHC experiment. Instead, we will measure KRAS signaling (e.g. phosphorylated ERK and Akt by immunoblot) and the growth of KRAS-dependent PDAC after MTMR loss. These experiments would be more clinically and physiologically relevant.

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      Referee #2

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      Summary:

      Henkels et al. propose the role of myotubularin-related proteins in promoting KRAS4B localization to the plasma membrane. Their data shows that shRNA-mediated knockdown of myotubularin-related proteins -2, -3, -4, or -7 led to measurable changes in RAS localization and in plasma membrane (PM) content. More specifically, knockdown of any one of these MTMR proteins led to a decrease in PI4P levels in the PM, an increase in PI3P content in the PM, a decrease in phosphatidyl serine (PtdSer) in the PM/whole cell, and a decrease in mutant KRAS localization to the PM. Their data also shows a decreased presence of ORP5 at the PM, a protein which is responsible for the exchange of PI4P in the plasma membrane for PtdSer in the endoplasmic reticulum. These results are somewhat predictable and are supported by the existing literature, as MTMR proteins are known to exhibit 3-phosphotase activity towards PI3P to generate PI (a precursor to PI4P), PI4P is known to recruit ORP5, and ORP5 is known to contribute to PtdSer content in the membrane [1, 2]. Regardless, the authors find that the individual knockdown of MTMR proteins is sufficient to cause measurable changes in PM content and mislocalization of mutant KRAS4B. Thus, despite the fact that many proteins are involved in regulating PM content, such as PI4KA, PtdSer synthase 1 and 2, Nir2/3, and PITPs, Henkels et al. speculate that MTMR proteins are the primary regulators of PtdSer PM levels [3, 4, 5, 6]. The authors propose that the loss of function in any one of these MTMR proteins alone is sufficient to cause significant changes in PM content through an ORP5-dependent process, and that this ultimately leads to a decrease in mutant KRAS signaling.

      Major comments:

      The unbiased siRNA screen used to identify proteins that impact KRAS membrane localization was a very nice approach to identify MTMR proteins. Although there is a clear phenotype of KRAS mislocalization associated with knockdown of the various MTMR proteins, the data provided does not prove a causational role for the MTMR proteins in maintaining PtdSer content, nor KRAS localization, at the PM. The current data does not provide a mechanism by which MTMR proteins are influencing this process, but rather speculates using existing literature that it is the loss in MTMR 3-phosphotase activity that leads to decreased PtdSer in the membrane. There is a series of conversions and exchanges that act upon PI3P (the substrate of MTMR proteins) and PI to generate PtdSer in the PM; thus, it is a dynamic process that is influenced by a variety of different proteins and transporters [3, 4, 5, 6]. To prove their single-protein-driven hypothesis, the authors should clone and express a mutant MTMR protein construct that contains an inactive phosphatase catalytic domain, to prove that it is indeed MTMR's generation of PI (which is further converted into PI4P) in the membrane that is responsible for maintaining PtdSer content and KRAS localization. Without this, there is not enough evidence to support this claim. In addition, the authors speculate that ORP5 is a critical intermediate in this process, and that the loss in PI4P/ORP5 at the PM following MTMR knockdown is responsible for the decrease in PtdSer at the PM. The authors should knockdown ORP5 in MTMR-wildtype cells, since it is downstream of their proposed mechanism, and see whether this leads to comparable reductions in PtdSer levels and KRAS mislocalization at the PM. This would confirm ORP5 as having a major role in this setting and would support the initial mechanistic hypothesis. These experiments are imperative to forming an appropriate conclusion, especially since some of their current data contradicts their mechanistic hypothesis: the authors identify a decrease in whole cell PtdSer content, not just PM PtdSer content, when MTMR proteins are knocked down. Based on this result, one would predict that a secondary or supporting mechanism must exist that contributes to a reduction in whole cell PtdSer content, which likely contributes to its loss at the PM as well. The authors describe in line 360 how "previous work has shown that PM PI4P depletion indirectly blocks PtdSer synthase 1 and 2 activities," to explain this reduction in total cell levels of PtdSer. The authors should look at PtdSer synthase 1 and 2 activities in the presence of MTMR knockdown, as the loss in PtdSer at the PM may rely more heavily on synthase activity than ORP-dependent transfer of PtdSer. Although the c. Elegans model that was used to investigate downstream let-60 (RAS ortholog) activity through a multi-vulva phenotype is quite intriguing, it is more critical to assess downstream RAS pathway activation, especially in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma or the human mammary gland ductal carcinoma cell lines. Not only would this line of questioning provide a higher significance and increase the clinical applicability of these findings, but it is also crucial to support the author's claim that MTMR knockdown can influence mutant KRAS activity. Although small changes in KRAS localization to the PM can have significant effects on downstream signaling, these effects need to be measured and confirmed in this setting. The authors should perform western blots to assess the activation of both the PI3K and MAPK pathway in the MTMR knockdown cell lines. In addition to this, it might be important to know whether there are any changes in the levels of the KRAS protein itself, as recycling/transport pathways may be impacted by its lack of recruitment to the plasma membrane. Finally, the authors show that proliferation is inhibited by MTMR knockdown as a readout of RAS activity. The authors should also assess the levels of cell death, as the inhibition of mutant KRAS in cancer cells would likely lead to cell death. The authors do not describe why reducing any one of the MTMR proteins alone is sufficient to deplete the PM of PtdSer. This sort of discussion is important for understanding compensatory or regulatory mechanisms in place between the MTMR proteins, as this may influence PtdSer levels at the PM. For example, it has been shown that MTMR2 can stabilize MTMR13 on membranes. Do the levels, stability, or localization of the other MTMR proteins change when one specific MTMR is knocked down? Is this why we see an effect on PtdSer in any one of the knockdowns? The authors should at the very least provide western blots for each of the MTMR proteins discussed in the presence of each individual MTMR knockdown.<br /> In addition to the above experiments, the MTMR hairpins should be expressed in a secondary or tertiary cell line to prove that these events are not specific to the current model used. Since their current human mammary gland ductal carcinoma cell line overexpresses a mutant KRAS-GFP construct, perhaps doing similar experiments in a cancer cell line that already expresses an endogenous mutant KRAS might provide a better model. Although this protein would not include a GFP-tag, other ways of visualizing its localization at the PM (such as immunofluorescent staining) could be used to confirm its localization there. In addition, the effects on downstream RAS signaling could be measured through western blot of PI3K and MAPK pathways. Supplemental Figure 4 is incorrectly referred to in the text as Supplemental Figure 3 (line 257-258). The text reads, "Confocal microscopy further demonstrates that HRASG12V cellular localization is not disrupted after silencing MTMR 2/3/4/7 (Fig. S3)" but Figure S3 is an EM image of PM basal sheets from T47D cells expressing GFP-KRASG12V. Supplemental Figure 4 shows that mutant HRAS is unaffected by the various MTMR knockdowns. Since the authors show decreased proliferation in mutant KRAS cells following MTMR knockdown, the authors should also investigate any changes to proliferation rates in mutant HRAS cell lines following MTMR knockdown. This data is necessary to prove that MTMR-driven changes in downstream RAS signaling are specific to mutant KRAS and not mutant HRAS. It may also be important for the authors to also show any effects on wildtype RAS localization to the PM when MTMR-2,-3,-4, and -7 are knocked down, to show whether this is a oncoprotein-specific event. <br /> The representative images chosen for Figure 4 diminish the reliability of the data, as it is difficult to see a visible change in the PI3P probe between the control and MTMR knockdown cells in these images. Since the authors rely on the Mander's coefficient and the number of gold particles throughout much of the paper, having the same conclusion quantitatively but not qualitatively for these assays is confusing. Perhaps the authors should elaborate on whether MTMR knockdown has a stronger effect on PtSer and KRAS PM presence than PI3P PM presence. They should also describe their method for identifying early endosomes, since they switch back and forth between describing the content of the PM and of early endosomes, such as in Figure 1 and Figure 4.

      Minor comments:

      An additional experiment that may add another layer of clinical applicability would be the use of an MTMR inhibitor in this cell line, to see whether similar effects can be achieved pharmacologically [7]. This would provoke other researchers to investigate MTMR inhibitors in vitro and in vivo to assess the effect on mutant KRAS cancers.

      The inclusion of cell lines that express KRAS proteins of different mutational statuses would be extremely interesting, as KRAS' orientation within the plasma membrane has been shown to be altered by these mutations. This fact should potentially be considered when choosing a secondary or tertiary cell line to do additional experiments in, but it is not necessary for the authors to elaborate on how MTMR proteins may impact different KRAS mutants for the scope of this project.

      The results of this paper rely heavily on one experimental technique, which is calculating a Mander's coefficient and counting the co-localization of the probe of interest with the CellMask stain of the plasma membrane. How this coefficient is derived is explained in appropriate detail in the methods section of this manuscript; however, a secondary route of identifying these changes in membrane constituents would greatly enhance the paper's conclusions. This would eliminate any doubt surrounding the accuracy of the technique, since so much of the data relies on one experimental output.

      References

      1. Clague MJ, Lorenzo O. The myotubularin family of lipid phosphatases. Traffic. (12):1063-9 (2005).
      2. Chung J, Torta F, Masai K, Lucast L, Czapla H, Tanner LB, Narayanaswamy P, Wenk MR, Nakatsu F, De Camilli P. PI4P/phosphatidylserine countertransport at ORP5- and ORP8-mediated ER-plasma membrane contacts. Science. 349(6246):428-32 (2015).
      3. Kim YJ, Guzman-Hernandez ML, Wisniewski E, Balla T. Phosphatidylinositol-Phosphatidic Acid Exchange by Nir2 at ER-PM Contact Sites Maintains Phosphoinositide Signaling Competence. Dev Cell 33: 549-561 (2015).
      4. Balla A, Balla T. Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases: Old enzymes with emerging functions. Trends Cell Biol 16, 351-361 (2006).
      5. Arikketh D, Nelson R, Vance JE. Defining the importance of phosphatidylserine synthase-1 (PSS1): unexpected viability of PSS1-deficient mice. J Biol Chem. 283(19):12888-97 (2008).
      6. Cockcroft S. The diverse functions of phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 362:185-208 (2012).
      7. Taylor GS, Maehama T, Dixon JE. Myotubularin, a protein tyrosine phosphatase mutated in myotubular myopathy, dephosphorylates the lipid second messenger, phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1;97(16):8910-5 (2000).

      Significance

      The significance of this paper lies in providing the field with an additional regulator of KRAS localization at the PM, as this is localization is critical to KRAS function. Despite three decades worth of understanding and even successfully blocking KRAS membrane localization in vitro, no KRAS-membrane-localization inhibitors have been approved for the clinic. Thus, there is still room in the field for the development of a safe therapeutic target that can effectively block this process. There is a consensus in the literature that PtdSer is critical for KRAS anchoring to the membrane, and this paper describes how MTMR proteins may impact the supply of PtdSer to the PM. Since this work is done in a cancer background by utilizing a mutant KRAS construct (KRASG12V), this work would be interesting to many cancer researchers that are attempting to target mutant KRAS. This paper would also be interesting to researchers who investigate mechanisms of PM maintenance.

      Our lab studies RAS signaling in tumorigenesis. The authors are clear in their explanations of the mechanisms of PM maintenance and PM components relevant to this study.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      Manuscript number: RC-2023-01938R

      Corresponding author(s): Ilan, Davis

      1. General Statements

      We thank all four reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments. We have gone through each and every comment and proposed how we would address each point raised by the reviewers. We are confident our proposed revisions are feasible within a reasonable and expected time frame. Some of the comments regarding minor typo/aesthetics and extra references have already been addressed in the transferred manuscript. The changes are highlighted in yellow in the transferred manuscript.

      2. Description of the planned revisions

      Reviewer #1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Major points:

      1. The presented work itself (Figures 1-4) does not need significant adjustments prior to publication, in my view, with only a few points to address. However, the work in Figure 5- doesn't really support the claims the authors make on its own, and would require some additional experiments or at the very least discussion of the caveats to its current form.

      We thank the reviewer for these comments and will follow the reviewer’s suggestion by discussing the caveats regarding the interpretation of Figure 5. We will also add to the discussion to suggest future research approaches beyond the scope of this manuscript that would address the functional importance of localised mRNA translation. We will briefly mention in the discussion methods such as the quantification of the mRNA foci and the disruption of the mRNA localisation signals to disrupt localised translation and the use of techniques such as Sun-Tag (Tanenbaum et al, 2014) and FLARIM (Richer et al, 2021) to visualise local translation directly.


      Tanenbaum et al, 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.039

      Richer et al, 2021 DOI: 10.1101/2021.08.13.456301

      * __ Localized glia transcripts, are they "glial/CNS/PNS" significant or are they similar to other known datasets of protrusion transcriptomes? The authors compared their 4801 "total" localized to a local transcriptome dataset from the Chekulaeva lab finding that a significant fraction are localized in both. As the authors note, this is in good agreement with a recent paper from the Talifarro lab showing conservation of localization of mRNAs across different cell types. What the authors haven't done here, is further test this by looking at other non-neuronal projection transcriptomic datasets (for example Mardakheh Developmental Cell 2015, among others). If the predicted glia-localized processes are similar to non-neuronal processes transcriptomes, this would further strengthen this claim and rule out some level of CNS/PNS derived linage driving the similarities between glia and neuronal localized transcripts. __*

      This is a good point and we thank the review for pointing out this interesting cancer data set. We will do as the reviewer suggests and intersect our data with Mardakheh Dev Cell 2015 to test the further generality of localisation in neurons and glia, in other cell types. Specifically, we plan to intersect both glial (this study) and neuronal (von Kuegelgen & Chekulaeva, 2020) dataset with protrusive breast cancer cells (Mardakeh et al, 2015).

      • *

      von Kuegelgen & Chekulaeva, 2020 DOI: 10.1002/wrna.1590

      Mardakeh et al, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.10.005

      * __ The presentation/discussion around Figure 3 is a bit weaker than other parts of the manuscript, and it doesn't really contribute to the story in its current form. Notably there is no discussion about the significance of glia in neurological disorders until the very end of the manuscript (page 21), meaning when its first brought up.. it just sits there as a one off side point. The authors might consider strengthening/tightening up the discussion here, if they really want to keep it as a solo main figure rather than integrating it somewhere else/putting it into supplemental. In my view, Figures 2 & 3 should be merged into something a bit more streamlined. __*

      This is a good point. We plan to strengthen the presentation of Figure 3 and discussion of the significance of glia in neurological disorders by adding a description of the Figure in the Results section and highlighting the significance of glia in nervous system disorders in the Discussion section.

      * __ Why aren't there more examples of different mRNAs in Figure 4? Seems a waste to kick them all to supplemental. __*

      We agree that it could be helpful to show different expression patterns in the main figure. To address this point we will add Pdi (Fig. S4D), which shows mRNA expression in both the glia and the surrounding muscle cell. This pattern is in contrast to Gs2, which is highly specific to glial cells. We will also note that although pdi mRNA is present in both the glia and muscle, Pdi protein is only abundant in the glia, suggesting that translation of pdi mRNA to protein is regulated in a cell-specific manner.

      The plasticity experiments, while creative, I think need to be approached far more cautiously in their interpretation. Given that the siRNAs will completely deplete these mRNAs- it really needs to be stressed any/all of the effects seen could just be the result of "defective" or "altered" states in this glial population- which has spill over effects on plasticity in at the NMJ. Without directly visualizing if these mRNAs are locally translated in these processes and assessing if their translation is modulated by their plasticity paradigm, all these experiments can say is that these RNAs are needed in glia to modulate ghost bouton formation in axons. This represents the weakest part of this manuscript, and the part that I feel does not actually backup the claims currently being made. Without any experiments to A. quantify how much of these transcripts are localized vs in the cell body of these glia, B. visualize/quantify the translation of these mRNAs during baseline and during plasticity; the authors cannot use these data to claim that localized mRNAs are required for synaptic plasticity.

      We are grateful to the reviewer for pointing out that we were not precise enough in defining our interpretation of the structural plasticity assay. We did not intend to claim that our results show that local translation of these transcripts is necessary for plasticity, only that these transcripts are localized and are required in the glia for plasticity in the adjacent neuron (in which the transcript levels are not disrupted in the experiment). Definitively proving that these transcripts are required locally and translated in response to synaptic activity would require genetic/chemical perturbations and imaging assays that would require a year or more to complete, so are beyond the scope of this manuscript. To address this point, we will clarify that the results do not show that localized transcripts are required, only that the transcripts are required somewhere specifically in the glial cell (without affecting the neuron level), and we can indeed show in an independent experiment that there are localized transcripts.

      Reviewer #2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Major points:

      1. * __ The authors analyse the 1700 shortlisted genes for Gene Ontology and associations with austism spectrum disorder, leading to interesting results. However, it is not clear to what extent the enrichments they observe are driven by their presumptive localization or if the associations are driven to a significant extent by the presence of these genes in the selected cell types in the Fly Cell Atlas. One way to address this would be to perform the GO and SFARI analysis on genes that are expressed in the same cells in the Fly Cell Atlas but were not shortlisted from the mammalian cell datasets - the results could then be compared to those obtained with the 1700 localized transcripts. __* This is a fair point raised by the reviewer as genes involved in neurological disease such as Autism Spectrum Disorder may be enriched in CNS/PNS cell types. We will follow the reviewer’s suggestion to perform GO and SFARI gene enrichment analysis in genes that were not shortlisted for presumptive glial localisation.

      Although the authors attempt to justify its inclusion, I'm not convinced why it was important to use the whole cell transcriptome of perisynaptic Schwann cells as part of the selection process for localizing transcripts. Including this dataset may reduce the power of the pipeline by including mRNAs that are not localized to protrusions. How many of the shortlisted 1700 genes, and how many of the 11 glial localized mRNAs in Table 5, would be lost if the whole cell transcriptome were excluded. More generally, what is the distribution of the 11 validated localizing transcripts in each dataset in Table 4? This information might be valuable for determining which dataset(s), if any, has the best predictive power in this context.

      We thank the reviewer for raising this point, which we will address with further analysis and adding to the discussion. We propose to address the criticism by running our analysis pipeline without the inclusion of the dataset using Perisynaptic Schwann Cells (PSCs) and then intersect with the PSCs-expressed genes, since their functional similarity with polarised Drosophila glial cells is highly relevant. We also agree with the reviewer that it would be a useful control for us to assess the ‘predictive power’ of each glial dataset by calculating their contribution to the shortlisted 1,700 glial localised transcripts and to the 11 experimentally validated transcripts via in situ hybridisation. To address this point, we plan to add this information in the revised manuscript.

      * __ Did the authors check if any of the RNAi constructs are reducing levels of the target mRNA or protein? Doing so would strengthen the confidence in these important results significantly. In any case, the authors should also mention the caveat of potential off-target effects of RNAi. __*

      We thank the reviewer for their useful comment and agree that the extent to which the RNAi expression reduces the levels of mRNA is not specifically known. We will add a FISH experiment on lac, pdi and gs2 RNAi showing very strong reduction in mRNA levels. We will also add an explanation of the caveats of the use of the RNAi system to the discussion.

      Methods: what is the justification for assuming that if the RNAi cross caused embryonic or larval lethality then the 'next most suitable' RNAi line is reporting on a phenotype specific to the gene. If the authors want to claim the effect is associated with different degrees of knockdown they should show this experimentally. An alternative explanation is that the line used for phenotypic analysis in glia is associated with an off-target effect.

      We thank the reviewer for this comment. We agree that off target effects cannot in principle be completely ruled out without considerable additional experimental analysis beyond the scope of this manuscript. To address the criticism we will remove the expression data of the lines that cause lethality and revise the discussion to explain that the level of knockdown in each line is unknown, and would require further experimental exploration.

      Minor points:

      1. It would be helpful to have in the Introduction (rather than the Results, as is currently the case) an operational definition of mRNA localization in the context of the study. And is it known whether or not localization in protrusions is the norm in mammalian glia or the Drosophila larval glia? I ask because it may be that almost all mRNAs diffuse into the protrusion, so this is not a selective process. One interesting approach to test this idea might be to test if the 1700 shortlisted transcripts have a significant underrepresentation of 'housekeeping' functions. We thank the reviewer for this excellent suggestion. To address the comment, we will move our explanation of the operational definition of mRNA localization to the Introduction. We will also perform enrichment analysis of housekeeping genes within 1,700 shortlisted transcripts compared to the transcriptome background, as the reviewer suggested.

      Reviewer #3 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Major points:

      1. The authors have pooled data from different studies across different type of glial cells performed from in vitro to in vivo. While pooling datasets may reveal common transcripts enriched in processes, this may not be the best approach considering these are completely different types of glial cells with distinct function in neuronal physiology. We thank the reviewer for highlighting the need for us to further justify why we pooled datasets. We will revise the manuscript to better emphasise that the overarching goal of our study was to try to discern a common set of localised transcripts shared between the cells. The problem with analysing and comparing individual data sets is that much of the variation may be due to differences in the methods used and amount of material, rather than differences in the type of cells used. We will revise the discussion to make this point and plan to explain that our approach corresponds well with a previous publication pooling localised mRNA datasets in neurons (von Kugelgen & Chekulaeva 2021).

      von Kuegelgen & Chekulaeva, 2020 DOI: 10.1002/wrna.1590

      It is important to note the limitations of the study. For example, DeSeq2 is biased for highly expressed transcripts. How robust was the prediction for low abundance transcripts?

      The presented 1,700 transcripts were shortlisted based on their presence and expression level (TPM) in glial protrusions rather than their relative enrichment. Nevertheless, the reviewer makes a valid criticism of our use of DESeq2, where we compared enriched transcripts in glial and neuronal protrusions in Figure 1D. To address this point we will discuss this caveat in the relevant section.

      The issue raised regarding low abundance transcript prediction raises an important question: does the likelihood of localisation to cell extremities correlate with mRNA abundance? We have already partially addressed this point, since our analysis of the fraction of localised transcripts per expression level quantiles shows only limited correlation. To address this comment, we will add these results in the revised manuscript as a supplementary figure.

      The authors identify 1,700 transcripts that they classify as "predicted to be present" in the projections of the Drosophila PNS glia. This was based on the comparison to all the mammalian glial transcripts. Since the authors have access to a transcriptomic study from Perisynaptic Schwann cells (PSCs), the nonmyelinating glia associated with the NMJ isolated from mice; it would be more convincing to then validate the extent of overlap between Drosophila peripheral glial with the mammalian PSCs. This may reveal conserved features of localized transcripts in the PNS, particularly associated with the NMJ function.

      Thank you for the valuable suggestion. A similar point was also raised by __[Reviewer #2 - Major point 2] __to re-run our pipeline excluding the PSCs dataset and intersect with the PSC transcriptome post-hoc. Please see the above section for our detailed response.

      Fig 2: What is the extent of overlap between the translating fractions versus the localized fraction? It will be informative to perform the functional annotation of the translating glial transcripts as identified from Fig 1D.

      This is an interesting question. To address this point, we plan to: (i) compare transcripts that are translated vs. localised in glial protrusions, and (ii) perform functional annotation enrichment analysis on the translated fraction of genes.

      "We conclude predicted group of 1,700 are highly likely to be peripherally localized in Drosophila cytoplasmic glial projections". To validate their predictions, the authors test some of these candidates in only one glial cell type. It might be worthy to extend this for other differentially expressed genes localized in another glial type as well.

      The presented in vivo analyses made use of the repo-GAL4 driver, which is active in all glial subtypes, including subperineurial, perineurial and wrapping glia that make distal projection to the larval neuromuscular junction. We agree that subtype-specific analysis would be highly informative, but we believe this is outside the scope of the current work where we aimed to identify conserved localised transcriptomes across all glial subtypes. Nevertheless, to address the comment, we plan to further clarify our use of pan-glial repo-GAL4 driver in the Results and Method section of the revised manuscript.

      Figure 5: The authors perform KD of candidate transcripts to test the effect on synapse formation. However, these are KD with RNAi that spans across the entire cell. To make the claim about the importance of "target" RNA localization in glia stronger, ideally, they should disrupt the enrichment specifically in the glial protusions and test the impact on bouton formation. Do these three RNAs have any putative localization elements?

      We agree with the review, that we would ideally test the effect of disruption of mRNA localization (and therefore localised translation). However, we feel these experiments are beyond the scope of this current study, as they will require a long road of defining localisation signals that are small enough to disrupt without affecting other functions. To address this comment we will revise the Discussion section to mention those difficulties explicitly, and clarify the limitations of the approach used in our study for greater transparency.

      Reviewer #4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Major points:

      1. The authors use FISH to validate the glial expression of their target genes, though these experiments are not quantified, and no controls are shown. The authors should provide a supplemental figure with "no probe" controls, and/or validate the specificity of the probe via glial knockdown of the target gene (see point 2). Furthermore, these data should be quantified (e.g. number of puncta colocalized with NMJ glia membrans). Thank you for requesting further information regarding the YFP smFISH probes. We have validated the specificity and sensitivity of the YFP probe in our recent publication (Titlow et al, 2023, Figure 1 and S1). Specifically, we demonstrated the lack of YFP probe signal from wild-type untagged biosamples and showed colocalization of YFP spots with additional probes targeting the endogenous exon of the transcript. Nevertheless, we will address this comment by adding control image panels of smFISH in wild-type (OrR) neuromuscular junction preparations.

      Titlow et al, 2023 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.202205129

      For the most part, the authors only use one RNAi line for their functional studies, and they only show data for one line, even if multiple were used. To rule out potential false negatives, the authors should leverage their FISH probes to show the efficacy of their knockdowns in glia. This would serve the dual purpose of validating the new probes (see point 1).

      Thank you for the suggestion. This point was also raised by [Reviewer #2 - Major point 3]. Please see above for our detailed response.

      In Figure 5 E, given the severe reduction in size in the stimulated Pdi KD animals, the authors should show images of the unstimulated nerve as well. Do the nerve terminals actually shrink in size in these animals following stimulation, rather than expand? The NMJ looks substantially smaller than a normal L3 NMJ, though their quantification of neurite size in F suggests they're normal until stimulation.

      We share the same interpretation of the data with the reviewer that the neurite area is reduced post-potassium stimulation in pdi knockdown animals. We will follow the reviewer’s suggestion and add an image showing unstimulated neuromuscular junctions.

      Minor points:

      The authors claim that there is an enrichment of ASD-related genes in their final list of ~1400 genes that are enriched in glial processes. It is well-appreciated that synaptically-localized mRNAs are generally linked to ASDs. Can the authors comment on whether the transcripts localized to glial processes are even more linked to ASDs and neurological disorders than transcripts known to be localized to neuronal processes?

      This is an interesting point. To address the comment, we will add a comparison of the degree of enrichment of ASD-related genes in neurite vs. glial protrusions in the revised manuscript.

      __*

      *__

      • *

      3. Description of the revisions that have already been incorporated in the transferred manuscript

      Reviewer #1


      1. The use of blue/green or blue/green/magenta is difficult to resolve in some places. Swapping blue for cyan would greatly aid in visualizing their data.
      2. *

      This comment is much appreciated. We have swapped blue for cyan in Figures 4 and S4. We have also changed Figure S1 to increase contrast and visibility as per reviewer’s comment.

      Make the colouring/formatting of the tables more consistent, its distracting when its constantly changing (also there is no need for a blue background.. just use a basic white table).

      This comment is much appreciated. We have applied a consistent colour palette to the Tables without background colourings and made the formatting uniform.

      • *

      Reviewer #2

      • *

      Introduction: 'Asymmetric mRNA localization is likely to be as important in glia, as it is in neurons,...'. Remove commas

      Thank you for pointing this mistake out. We have made the corresponding edits.

      • *

      Reviewer #3

      RNA localization in oligodendrocytes has been well studied and characterized. The authors should cite and discuss those papers (PMID: 18442491; PMID: 9281585).

      We thank the reviewer for this useful suggestion. We have added these references to the paper.

      • *

      • *

      Reviewer #4

      • *

      • In Figure 5D, the authors should include a label to indicate that these images are from an unstimulated condition. We thank the reviewer for pointing this out. We have added the label as requested.

      The authors are missing a number of key citations for studies that have explored the functional significance of mRNA trafficking in glia, and those that have validated activity-dependent translation:

      - ____https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18490510____/

      -____https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7691830____/

      -____https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3001053

      -____https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7450274____/

      -_https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36261025_*/

      *__

      We thank the reviewer for the comment. We have added these references to the text.

      • *

      4. Description of analyses that authors prefer not to carry out

    1. Note: This response was posted by the corresponding author to Review Commons. The content has not been altered except for formatting.

      Learn more at Review Commons


      Reply to the reviewers

      Dear Editor and Reviewers,

      *We thank you for the thorough and detailed examination of our preprint and providing the very valuable comments that helped to even better present and interpret our data. *

      *Thank you in particular for appreciating the extensive set of microscopic techniques that we have combined to study in a unique manner the characteristics and functionalities of FIT nuclear bodies in living plant cells. *

      We prepared a revised preprint in which we address all reviewer comments. Our revision includes a NEW experiment (in four repetitions) that addresses one comment made by the reviewers with regard to the effects of the environmental FIT NB-inducing situation:

      • NEW Supplemental Figures S6 and S7: Analysis of previously reported intron retention splicing variants of Fe deficiency genes FIT, BHLH039, IRT1, FRO2 in new gene expression experiments (Four independent repetitions of the experiments with three biological replicates of each sample – white/blue light treatment, sufficient and deficient iron supply). In the following, please find our detailed response to all reviewer comments.

      With these changes, we hope that our peer-reviewed preprint can receive a positive vote,

      We are looking forward to your response,

      Sincerely

      Petra Bauer and Ksenia Trofimov on behalf of all authors

      Comments to the reviews:

      Reviewer #1 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      In this paper entitled " FER-LIKE IRON DEFICIENCY-INDUCED TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR (FIT) accumulates in homo- and heterodimeric complexes in dynamic and inducible nuclear condensates associated with speckle components", Trofimov and colleagues describe for the first time the function of FIT in nuclear bodies. By an impressive set of microscopies technics they assess FIT localization in nuclear bodies and its dynamics. Finally, they reveal their importance in controlling iron deficiency pathway. The manuscript is well written and fully understandable. Nonetheless, at it stands the manuscript present some weakness by the lack of quantification for co-localization and absence controls making hard to follow authors claim. Moreover, to substantially improve the manuscript the authors need to provide more proof of concepts in A. thaliana as all the nice molecular and cellular mechanism is only provided in N. bentamiana. Finally, some key conclusions in the paper are not fully supported by the data. Please see below:

      Main comments:

      1) For colocalization analysis, the author should provide semi-quantitative data counting the number of times by eyes they observed no, partial or full co-localization and indicate on how many nucleus they used.

      Authors:

      We have added the information in the Materials and Method section, lines 731-734:

      In total, 3-4 differently aged leaves of 2 plants were infiltrated and used for imaging. One infiltrated leaf with homogenous presence of one or two fluorescence proteins was selected, depending on the aim of the experiment, and ca. 30 cells were observed. Images are taken from 3-4 cells, one representative image is shown.

      In all analyzed cases, except in the case of colocalization of FIT and PIF4 fusion proteins, the ca. 30 cells had the same localization and/or colocalization patterns. This information has also been added in the figure legends. Each experiment was repeated at least 2-3 times, or as indicated in the figure legend.

      2) Do semi-quantitative co-localization analysis by eyes, on FIT NB with known NB makers in the A. thaliana root. For now, all the nicely described molecular mechanism is shown in N. benthamiana which makes this story a bit weak since all the iron transcriptional machinery is localized in the root to activate IRT1.

      Authors:

      The described approach has been very optimal, and we were able to screen co-localizing marker proteins in FIT NBs in N. benthamiana to better identify the nature of FIT NBs. This has been successful as we were able to associate FIT NBs with speckles. The N. benthamiana system allowed optimal microscopic observation of fluorescence proteins and quantification of FIT NB characteristics in contrast to the root hair zone of Arabidopsis where Fe uptake takes place. FIT is expressed at a low level in roots and also in leaves, whereby fluorescence protein expression levels are insufficient for the here-presented microscopic studies. The tobacco infiltration system is also well established to study FIT-bHLH039 protein interaction and nuclear body markers. We discuss this point in the discussion, see line 489-500.

      3) The authors need to provide data clearly showing that the blue light induce NB in A. thaliana and N. benthamiana.

      Authors:

      *For tobacco, see Figure 1B (t = 0, 5 min) and Supplemental Movies S1. For Arabidopsis, please see Figure 1A (t = 0, 90 and 120 min) and Supplemental Figure S1A. We provide an additional image of pFIT:cFIT-GFP Arabidopsis control plants, showing that NB formation is not detected in plants that were grown in white light and not exposed to blue light before inspection (Supplemental Figure S1B). We state, that upon blue light exposure, plants had FIT NBs in at least 3-10 nuclei of 20 examined nuclei in the root epidermis in the root hair zone (in three independent experiments with three independent plants). White-light-treated plants showed no NB formation unless an additional exposure to blue light was provided (in three independent experiments, three independent plants per experiment and with 15 examined nuclei per plant). *

      4) Direct conclusion in the manuscript:

      • Line 170: At this point of the paper the author cannot claim that the formation of FIT condensates in the nucleus is due to the light as it might be indirectly linked to cell death induced by photodamaging the cell using a 488 lasers for several minutes. This is true especially with the ELYRA PS which has strong lasers made for super resolution and that Cell death is now liked to iron homeostasis. The same experiment might be done using a spinning disc or if the authors present the data of the blue light experiment mentioned above this assumption might be discarded. Alternatively, the author can use PI staining to assess cell viability after several minutes under 488nm laser.

      Authors:

      As stated in our response to comment 3, we have included now a white light control to show that FIT NB formation is not occurring under the normal white light conditions. Since the formation of FIT NBs is a dynamic and reversible process (Figure 1A), it indicates that the cells are still viable, and that cell death is not the reason for FIT NB formation.

      • Line 273: I don't agree with the first part of the authors conclusion, saying that "wild-type FIT had better capacities to localize to NBs than mutant FITmSS271AA, presumably due its IDRSer271/272 at the C-terminus. This is not supported by the data. In order to make such a claim the author need to compare the FA of FIT WT with FITmSS271AA by statistical analysis. Nonetheless, the value seems to be identical on the graphs. The main differences that I observed here are, 1) NP value for FITmSS271AA seems to be lower compared to FIT-WT, suggesting that the Serine might be important to regulate protein homedimerization partitioning between the NP and the NB. 2) To me, something very interesting that the author did not mention is the way the FA of FITmSS271AA in the NB and NP is behaving with high variability. The FA of those is widely spread ranging from 0.30 to 0.13 compared to the FIT-WT. To me it seems that according to the results that the Serine 271/272 are required to stabilize FIT homodimerization. This would not only explain the delay to form the condensate but also the decreased number and size observed for FITmSS271AA compared to FIT-WT. As the homodimerization occurs with high variability in FITmSS271AA, there is less chance that the protein will meet therefore decreasing the time to homodimerize and form/aggregate NB.

      Authors:

      We fully agree. We meant to describe this result it in a similar way and thank you for help in formulating this point even better. Rephrasing might make it better clear that the IDRSer271/272 is important for a proper NB localization, lines 272-278:

      “Also, the FA values did not differ between NBs and NP for the mutant protein and did not show a clear separation in homodimerizing/non-dimerizing regions (Figure 3D) as seen for FIT-GFP (Figure 3C). Both NB and NP regions showed that homodimers occurred very variably in FITmSS271AA-GFP.

      In summary, wild-type FIT could be partitioned properly between NBs and NP compared to FITmSS271AA mutant and rather form homodimers, presumably due its IDRSer271/272 at the C-terminus.”

      • Line 301: According to my previous comment (line 273), here it seems that the Serine 271/272 are required only for proper partitioning of the heterodimer FIT/BHLH039 between the NP and NB but not for the stability of the heterodimer formation. However, it might be great if the author would count the number of BHLH039 condensates in both version FITmSS271AA and FIT-WT. To my opinion, they would observe less BHLH039 condensate because the homodimer of FITmSS271AA is less likely to occur because of instability.

      Authors:

      bHLH039 alone localizes primarily to the cytoplasm and not the nucleus, and the presence of FIT is crucial for bHLH039 nuclear localization (Trofimov et al., 2019). Moreover, bHLH039 interaction with FIT depends on SS271AA (Gratz et al., 2019). We therefore did not consider this experiment for the manuscript and did not acquire such data, as we did not expect to achieve major new information.

      5) To wrap up the story about the requirements of NB in mediating iron acquisition under different light regimes, provide data for IRT1/FRO2 expression levels in fit background complemented with FITmSS271AA plants. I know that this experiment is particularly lengthy, but it would provide much more to this nice story.

      Authors:

      Data for expression of IRT1 and FRO2 in FITmSS271AA/fit-3 transgenic Arabidopsis plants are provided in Gratz et al. (2019). To address the comment, we did here a NEW experiment. We provide gene expression data on FIT, BHLH039, IRT1 and FRO2 splicing variants (previously reported intron retention) to explore the possibility of differential splicing alterations under blue light (NEW Supplemental Figure S6 and S7, lines 454-466). Very interestingly, this experiment confirms that blue light affects gene expression differently from white light in the short-term NB-inducing condition and that blue light can enhance the expression of Fe deficiency genes despite of the short 1.5 to 2 h treatment. Another interesting aspect was that the published intron retention was also detected. A significant difference in intron retention depending on iron supply versus deficiency and blue/white light was not observed, as the pattern of expression of transcripts with respective intron retentions sites was the same as the one of total transcripts mostly spliced.

      Minor comments

      In general, I would suggest the author to avoid abbreviation, it gets really confusing especially with small abbreviation as NB, NP, PB, FA.

      Authors:

      *We would like to keep the used abbreviations as they are utilized very often in our work and, in our eyes, facilitate the understanding. *

      Line 106: What does IDR mean?

      Authors:

      Explanation of the abbreviation was added to the text, lines 105-108:

      “Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) are flexible protein regions that allow conformational changes, and thus various interactions, leading to the required multivalency of a protein for condensate formation (Tarczewska and Greb-Markiewicz, 2019; Emenecker et al., 2020).”

      Line 163-164: provide data or cite a figure properly for blue light induction.

      Authors:

      We have removed this statement from the description, as we provide a white light control now, lines 157-158:

      “When whole seedlings were exposed to 488 nm laser light for several minutes, FIT became re-localized at the subnuclear level.”

      Line 188: Provide Figure ref.

      Authors:

      Figure reference was added to the text, lines 184-185:

      “As in Arabidopsis, FIT-GFP localized initially in uniform manner to the entire nucleus (t=0) of N. benthamiana leaf epidermis cells (Figure 1B).”

      Line 194: the conclusion is too strong. The authors conclude that the condensate they observed are NB based on the fact the same procedure to induce NB has been used in other study which is not convincing. Co-localization analysis with NB markers need to be done to support such a claim. At this step of the study, the author may want to talk about condensate in the nucleus which might correspond to NB. Please do so for the following paragraph in the manuscript until colocalization analysis has not been provided. Alternatively provide the co-localization analysis at this step in the paper.

      Authors:

      We agree. We changed the text in two positions.

      Lines 176-178: “Since we had previously established a reliable plant cell assay for studying FIT functionality, we adapted it to study the characteristics of the prospective FIT NBs (Gratz et al., 2019, 2020; Trofimov et al., 2019).”

      Lines 192-193:We deduced that the spots of FIT-GFP signal were indeed very likely NBs (for this reason hereafter termed FIT NBs).”

      Line 214: In order to assess the photo bleaching due to the FRAP experiment the quantification of the "recovery" needs to be provided in an unbleached area. This might explain why FIT recover up to 80% in the condensate. Moreover, the author conclude that the recovery is high however it's tricky to assess since no comparison is made with a negative/positive control.

      Authors:

      In the FRAP analysis, an unbleached area is taken into account and used for normalization.

      We reformulated the description of Figure 1F, lines 212-214:

      “According to relative fluorescence intensity the fluorescence signal recovered rapidly within FIT NBs (Figure 1F), and the calculated mobile fraction of the NB protein was on average 80% (Figure 1G).”

      Line 220-227: The conclusion it's too strong as I mentioned previously the author cannot claim that the condensate are NBs at this step of the study. They observed nuclear condensates that behave like NB when looking at the way to induce them, their shape, and the recovery. And please include a control.

      Authors:

      Please see the reformulated sentences and our response above.

      Lines 176-178: “Since we had previously established a reliable plant cell assay for studying FIT functionality, we adapted it to study the characteristics of the prospective FIT NBs (Gratz et al., 2019, 2020; Trofimov et al., 2019).”

      Lines 192-193:We deduced that the spots of FIT-GFP signal were indeed very likely NBs (for this reason hereafter termed FIT NBs).”

      Line 239: It's unappropriated to give the conclusion before the evidence.

      Authors:

      Thank you. We removed the conclusion.

      Line 240: Figure 2A, provide images of FIT-G at 15min in order to compare. And the quantification needs to be provided at 5 minutes and 15 minutes for both FIT-G WT and FIT-mSS271AA-G counting the number of condensates in the nucleus. Especially because the rest of the study is depending on these time points.

      Authors:

      *This information is provided in the Supplemental Movie S1C. *

      Line 241: the author say that the formation of condensate starts after 5 minutes (line 190) here (line 241) the author claim that it starts after 1 minutes. Please clarify.

      Authors:

      In line 190 we described that FIT NB formation occurs after the excitation and is fully visible after 5 min. In line 241 we stated that the formation starts in the first minutes after excitation, which describes the same time frame. We rephrased the respective sentences.

      Lines 185-188: “A short duration of 1 min 488 nm laser light excitation induced the formation of FIT-GFP signals in discrete spots inside the nucleus, which became fully visible after only five minutes (t=5; Figure 1B and Supplemental Movie S1A).”

      Lines 239-242: “While FIT-GFP NB formation started in the first minutes after excitation and was fully present after 5 min (Supplemental Movie S1A), FITmSS271AA-GFP NB formation occurred earliest 10 min after excitation and was fully visible after 15 min (Supplemental Movie S1C).”

      Line 254: Not sure what the authors claim "not only for interaction but also for FIT NB formation ". To me, the IDR is predicted to be perturbed by modeling when the serines are mutated therefore the IDR might be important to form condensates in the nucleus. Please clarify.

      Authors:

      The formation of nuclear bodies is slow for FITmSS271AA as seen in Figure 2. Previously, we showed that FITmSS271AA homodimerizes less (Gratz et al., 2019.) Therefore, the said IDR is important for both processes, NB formation and homodimerization. We have added this information to make the point clear, lines 253-255:

      “This underlined the significance of the Ser271/272 site, not only for interaction (Gratz et al., 2019) but also for FIT NB formation (Figure 2).”

      Line 255: It's not clear why the author test if the FIT homodimerization is preferentially associated with condensate in the nucleus.

      Authors:

      We test this because both homo- and heterodimerization of bHLH TFs are generally important for the activity of TFs, and we unraveled the connection between protein interaction and NB formation. We state this in lines 228-232.

      Line 269-272: It's not clear to what the authors are referring to.

      Authors:

      We are describing the homodimeric behavior of FIT and FITmSS271AA assessed by homo-FRET measurements that are introduced in the previous paragraph, lines 256-268.

      Line 309: This colocalization part should be presented before line 194.

      Authors:

      We find it convincing to first examine and characterize the process underlying FIT NB formation, then studying a possible function of NBs. The colocalization analysis is part of a functional analysis of NBs. We thank the reviewer for the hint that colocalization also confirms that indeed the nuclear FIT spots are NBs. We will take this point and discuss it, lines 516-522:

      “Additionally, the partial and full colocalization of FIT NBs with various previously reported NB markers confirm that FIT indeed accumulates in and forms NBs. Since several of NB body markers are also behaving in a dynamic manner, this corroborates the formation of dynamic FIT NBs affected by environmental signals.”

      “In conclusion, the properties of liquid condensation and colocalization with NB markers, along with the findings that it occurred irrespective of the fluorescence protein tag preferentially with wild-type FIT, allowed us to coin the term of ‘FIT NBs’.”

      Line 328: add the ref to figure, please.

      Authors:

      Figure reference was added to the text, lines 330-332:

      “The second type (type II) of NB markers were partially colocalized with FIT-GFP. This included the speckle components ARGININE/SERINE-RICH45-mRFP (SR45) and the serine/arginine-rich matrix protein SRm102-mRFP (Figure 5).”

      Line 334: It seems that the size of the SR45 has an anormal very large diameter between 4 and 6 µm. In general a speckle measure about 2-3µm in diameter. Can the author make sure that this structure is not due to overexpression in N. benthamiana or make sure to not oversaturate the image.

      Authors:

      Thank you for this hint. Indeed, there are reports that SR45 is a dynamic component inside cells. It can redistribute depending on environmental conditions and associate into larger speckles depending on the nuclear activity status (Ali et al., 2003). We include this reference and refer to it in the discussion, lines 557-564:

      “Interestingly, typical FIT NB formation did not occur in the presence of PB markers, indicating that they must have had a strong effect on recruiting FIT. This is interesting because the partially colocalizing SR45, PIF3 and PIF4 are also dynamic NB components. Active transcription processes and environmental stimuli affect the sizes and numbers of SR45 speckles and PB (Ali et al., 2003; Legris et al., 2016; Meyer, 2020). This may indicate that, similarly, environmental signals might have affected the colocalization with FIT and resulting NB structures in our experiments. Another factor of interference might also be the level of expression.”

      Line 335: It seems that the colocalization is partial only partial after induction of NB. The FIT NB colocalize around SR45. But it's hard to tell because the images are saturated therefore creating some false overlapping region.

      Authors:

      The localization of FIT with SR45 is partial and occurs only after FIT has undergone condensation, see lines 335-338.

      Line 344-345: It's unappropriated to give the conclusion before the evidence.

      Authors:

      We explain at an earlier paragraph that we will show three different types of colocalization and introduce the respective colocalization types within separate paragraphs accordingly, see lines 314-321.

      Line 353: increase the contrast in the image of t=5 for UAP56H2 since it's hard to assess the colocalization.

      Authors:

      This is done as noted in the figure legend of Figure 6.

      Line 381-382: "In general" does not sound scientific avoid this kind of wording and describe precisely your findings.

      Authors:

      We rephrased the sentence, line 387-388:

      Localization of single expressed PIF3-mCherry remained unchanged at t=0 and t=15 (Supplemental Figure S5A).

      Line 384-385: Provide the data and the reference to the figure.

      Authors:

      We apologize for the misunderstanding and rephrased the sentence, line 389-391:

      After 488 nm excitation, FIT-GFP accumulated and finally colocalized with the large PIF3-mCherry PB at t=15, while the typical FIT NBs did not appear (Figure 7A)

      Line 386: The structure in which FIT-G is present in the Figure 7A t=15 is not alike the once already observed along the paper. This could be explained by over-expression in N. benthamiana. Please explain.

      Authors:

      Thank you for the hint. We discuss this in the discussion part, see lines 555-568.

      Line 393: Explain and provide data why the morphology of PIF4/FIT NB do not correspond to the normal morphology.

      Authors:

      Thank you for the valuable hints. Several reasons may account for this and we provide explanations in the discussion, see lines 555-568.

      Line 396-398: It seems also from the data that co-expression of PIF4 of PIF3 will affect the portioning of FIT between the NP and the NB.

      Authors:

      We can assume that residual nucleoplasm is depleted from protein during NB formation. This is likely true for all assessed colocalization experiments. We discuss this in lines 492-494.

      The discussion is particularly lengthy it might be great to reduce the size and focus on the main findings.

      Authors:

      *We shortened the discussion. *

      **Referees cross-commenting**

      All good for me, I think that the comments/suggestions from Reviewer #2 are valid and fair. If they are addressed they will improve considerably the manuscript.

      Reviewer #1 (Significance (Required)):

      This manuscript is describing an unprecedent very precise cellular and molecular mechanism in nutrition throughout a large set of microscopies technics. Formation of nuclear bodies and their role are still largely unexplored in this context. Therefore, this study sheds light on the functional role of this membrane less compartment and will be appreciated by a large audience. However, the fine characterization is only made using transient expression in N. Bentamiana and only few proofs of concept are provided in A. thaliana stable line.

      Reviewer #2 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      The manuscript of Trofimov et al shows that FIT undergoes light-induced, reversible condensation and localizes to nuclear bodies (NBs), likely via liquid-liquid phase separation and light conditions plays important role in activity of FIT. Overall, manuscript is well written, authors have done a great job by doing many detailed and in-depth experiments to support their findings and conclusions.

      However, I have a number of questions/comments regarding the data presented and there are still some issues that authors should take into account.

      Major points/comments:

      1) Authors only focused on blue light conditions. Is there any specific reason for selecting only blue light and not others (red light or far red)?

      Authors:

      There are two main reasons: First, in a preliminary study (not shown) blue light resulted in the formation of the highest numbers of NBs. Second, iron reductase activity assays and gene expression analysis under different light conditions showed a promoting effect under blue light, but not red light or dark red light (Figure 9). This indicated to us, that blue light might activate FIT, and that active FIT may be related to FIT NBs.

      2) Fig. 3C and D: as GFP and GFP-GFP constructs are used as a reference, why not taking the measurements for them at two different time points for example t=0 and t=5 0r t=15???

      Authors:

      Free GFP and GFP-GFP dimers are standard controls for homo-FRET that serve to delimit the range for the measurements.

      3) Line 27-271: Acc to the figure 3d, for the Fluorescence anisotropy measurement of NBs appears to be less. Please explain.

      Authors:

      FA in NBs with FITmSS271AA is variable and the value is lower than that of whole nucleus but not significantly different compared with that in nucleoplasm. We describe the results of Figure 3D in lines 272-275.

      4) Figure 4: For the negative controls, data is shown at only t=0, data should be shown at t=5 also to prove that there is no decrease in fluorescence in these negative controls when they are expressed alone without bhlh39 as there is no acceptor in this case.

      Authors:

      Neither for FIT/bHLH039 nor the FITmSS271AA/bHLH039 pair, there is a significant decrease in the fluorescence lifetime values between t=0 and t=5/15. FIT-G is a control to delimit the range. The interesting experiment is to compare the protein pairs of interest between the different nuclear locations at t=5/15.

      5) Line 300-301: In Figure 4D and 4E. Fluorescence lifetime of G measurement at t=0 seems very similar for both FIT-G as well as FITmSS but if we look at the values of t=0 for FIT-G+bhlh039 it is greater than 2.5 and for FITmSS271AA-G+bhlh039 it is less which suggests more heterodimeric complexes to be formed in FITmSS271AA-G+bhlh039. Similar pattern is observed for NBs and NPs, according to the figure 4d and E.

      Therefore, heterodimeric complexes accumulated more in case of FITmSS271AA-G+bhlh039 as compared to FIT-G+bhlh039 (if we compare measurement values of Fluorescence lifetime of G of FITmSS271AA-G+bhlh039 with FIT-G+bhlh039).

      Please comment and elaborate about this further.

      Authors:

      These conclusions are not valid as the experiments cannot be conducted in parallel. Since the experiments had to be performed on different days due to the duration of measurements including new calibrations of the system, we cannot compare the absolute fluorescence lifetimes between the two sets.

      6) Figure 4: For the negative controls, data is shown at only t=0, data should be shown at t=5 also to prove that there is no decrease in fluorescence in these negative controls when they are expressed alone without bhlh39 as there is no acceptor in this case.

      Authors:

      Please see our response to your comment 4).

      7) Line 439-400: As iron uptake genes (FRO2 and IRT1) are more induced in WT under blue light conditions and FRO2 is less induced in case of red-light conditions. So, what happens to Fe content of WT grown under blue light or red light as compared to WT grown under white light. Perls/PerlsDAb staining of WT roots under different light conditions will add more information to this.

      Authors:

      We focused on the relatively short-term effects of blue light on signaling of nuclear events that could be related to FIT activity directly, particularly gene expression and iron reductase activity as consequence of FRO2 expression. These are both rapid changes that occur in the roots and can be measured. We suspect that iron re-localization and Fe uptake also occur, however, in our experience differences in metal contents will not be directly significant when applying the standard methods like ICP-MS or PERLs staining.

      Minor comments:

      Line 75-76: Rephrase the sentence

      Authors:

      We rephrased the sentence, lines 73-74:

      “As sessile organisms, plants adjust to an ever-changing environment and acclimate rapidly. They also control the amount of micronutrients they take up.”

      Line 119: Rephrase the sentence

      Authors:

      We rephrased the sentence, line 118-119:

      “Various NBs are found. Plants and animals share several of them, e.g. the nucleolus, Cajal bodies, and speckles.”

      Line 235-236: rephrase the sentence

      Authors:

      We rephrased the sentence, line 232-234:

      “In the work of Gratz et al. (2019), the hosphor-mimicking FITmS272E protein did not show significant changes in its behavior compared to wild-type FIT.”

      Line 444: Correct the sentence “Fe deficiency versus sufficiency”

      Authors:

      We corrected that, line 449-451:

      “In both, the far-red light and darkness situations, FIT was induced under iron deficiency versus sufficiency, while on the other side, BHLH039, FRO2 and IRT1 were not induced at all in these light conditions (Figure 9I-P).”

      **Referees cross-commenting**

      I agree with R1 suggestions/comments and i think manuscript quality will be much better if authors carry out the experiments suggested by R1. I believe this will also strengthen their conclusions.

      Reviewer #2 (Significance (Required)):

      Overall, manuscript is well written, authors have done a nice job by doing several key experiments to support their findings and conclusions. However, the results and manuscript can be improved further by addressing some question raised here. This study is interesting for basic scientists which unravels the crosstalk of light signaling in nutrient signaling pathways.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      We thank all three reviewers for their positive comments on the value of our work and for and for their helpful suggestions.

      *Reviewer #1 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity:

      This manuscript reports the development of a new bright fluorescent reporter that allows to label neighbouring cells. The system is based on upon secretion and uptake of s36GFP, a positively supercharged fluorescent protein. The authors also develop a Halo tag that will allow for straight forward colour exchange, as well as a customisable single plasmid construct with modular components.

      There are some minor suggestions that the authors may want to consider: 1) The authors conclude that "PUFFIN labelling is transferred rapidly between cells within minutes". They report in their time lapse experiments (Figure 2A,C) that sGFP can be detected within neighbours of secretors after 30 minutes when the cells are plated in a 50:1 non-labelled/secretor cell ratio, whereas it can be detected after 15 minutes when the cells are plated in a 1:9 ratio. Is there any synergistic effect on the signal when the proportion of secretors is increased or is this difference just because there is more signal, making it easier to visualise. *

      We have addressed this point with new experiments (new data shown in Figure 2E and Supp Figure S2A,B). This makes it clear that labelling can indeed be detected earlier when the proportion of secretors is higher. This is likely to be because higher secretor:acceptor ratios result in stronger labelling, which in turn makes it easier to detect labelled neighbours at very early time points - even within as early as 15 minutes. We also confirm that, even when secretors are very sparse (1:50 ratio), label becomes detectable in neighbours within 60 minutes.

      1. *Is there any reason why the main Figure legends lack a title, but the supplementary figures have one? 2. In Figure 3, it may be helpful to label each option as A, B, C.. 3. In Figure 4E, the legends + JF646 and -JF646 may be switched around. Shouldn't the orange box should be (+) and the grey box should be (-)?

        *

      We have modified / corrected the labelling as suggested and added titles to the main figure legends.

      *Reviewer #1 (Significance):

      This is a very valuable tool to address how cells change the behaviour of those in their environment. It will be very valuable for those interested in cell non-autonomous effects within a cell population or tissue. It will be especially valuable for live cell imaging; pulse chase experiments as well as omics approaches to understand cell behaviour in niches. *

      We thank this reviewer for their positive comments on the value of our work.

      *Reviewer #2 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      The authors describe a new method, Positive Ultra-bright Fluorescent Fusion For Identifying Neighbours (PUFFFIN), to label with Fluorescent Proteins, neighboring cells. In brief, specific cells that express a nuclear mCherry are engineered to secrete a supercharged fluorescent protein (36GFP) fused to the ultra-bright green-fluorescent mNeonGreen (mNG) (s36GFP). Neighboring cells uptake s36GFP and can be easily visualized. The authors added the human serum albumin signal peptide which is efficiently cleaved to create s36GFP. The PUFFFIN system can also be customized for color-of-choice labelling using HaloTags. A shortcoming of the paper is that it is a method paper established in tissue culture cells with no biological applications. A test of the system in an in vivo model would improve the study. The authors should at least describe specific examples of how the method can be used to answer biological questions. *

      We agree that the paper would be improved by demonstrating a biological application of our system. We are currently working on experiments to address a biological question, and will be submitting a revised manuscript containing these data.

      *Reviewer #2 (Significance (Required)):

      This straightforward and elegant approach is an improvement of current methods that are based on synthetic receptor-ligand interactions as it does not require genetic modification of both 'sender' cells and 'responding' cells. The approach should prove to be an effective and flexible tool for illuminating cellular neighborhoods. An interesting potential application of the method is to effectively deliver proteins fused to s36GFP.

      A shortcoming of the paper is that it is a method paper established in tissue culture cells with no biological applications. A test of the system in an in vivo model would improve the study. The authors should at least describe specific examples of how the method can be used to answer biological questions.*

      We thank this reviewer for their positive comments on the value of our work. We agree that the paper would be improved by demonstrating a biological application of our system. We are currently working on experiments to address a biological question, and will be submitting a revised manuscript containing these data

      *Reviewer #3 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      In this manuscript, the authors introduced a novel cell-neighbor-labeling system named PUFFFIN. PUFFFIN, as well as 'PUFFHalo', offers an elegantly simple method for distinguishing between secretors and receivers, providing users with a versatile tool to label proximate neighbors through the uptake of s36GFP, subsequently permitting their isolation via FACS for subsequent analysis. In addition, this system could be very useful considering of its customizability by exchanging elements, such as tissue-specific promotors, color-of-choice (HaloTag), and genes of interest to cater to the diverse requirements of secretors. Overall, this system is well-designed and characterized, and the claims in this study are mostly supported by the data. However, this neighbor-labeling approach is not efficiently used to obtain biological insights. The following comments are intended to enhance the overall quality of the study:

      Major comments: *

      1. * In Vidio1, it appears that certain nuclear mCherry+ cells did not secrete s36GFP-mNG during 19hrs recording window. However, in Figure1D and E, these GFP-mCherry+ cells were reported as having a 0% occurrence. This may be the result of either a delay in GFP secretion, or possible mCherry leakiness in unmodified cells. Please provide clarification. *

      There is indeed one mCherry+ cell in video 1 that fails to generate s36GFP-mNG signal. This cell, unlike most other cells in the movie, fails to divide or actively migrate during the 19h recording period, but instead is being passively “pushed around” by surrounding cells, and therefore looks to us very much like a dead or dying cell (levels of cell death to tend to be slightly higher than usual during live imaging). We have looked through our other videos and identified only one other example of an mCherry+ GFP-negative cell: this cell is clearly dying because the nucleus disintegrates over the course of the movie.

      We considered the possibility that some proportion of secretors may fail to generate signal even if they are healthy. We examined all our FACS analysis data. We detected at most 0.15% of such ‘failed secretors’, and most usually none. We conclude that any mCherry+ GFP- cells exist at extremely low frequencies and/or tend to be dying cells. Either way, they are very unlikely to interfere with interpretation of experimental data.

      *Additionally, including representative images of the co-culture experiment in Figure 1.E would enhance the presentation of the data. *

      These data have now been added to Supplemental Figure S1 C

      *Since the authors mention that s36GFP-mNG labeling was not detectable beyond four cell diameters, it would be helpful to include statistical data regarding the average distances or cell layers that GFP can travel, thus describing the permeation and labeling limit of s36GFP-mNG, adjacent to Figure2C. *

      We’ve now quantified the data and provide this information in a new panel (Figure 2D).

      *Please comment on the application prospect of this system utilizing in vivo. In addition, comment should be made on the difference of PUFFFIN system and recent reported CILP (PNAS 2023). *

      We have added discussion on prospects for using the system in vivo (new text lines 65-67). We have also described the CILP system in the revised introduction, explaining that it is an inducible version of the Cherry Niche system that we describe in our introduction (new text lines 291-294).

      *Minor comments: 1. Please include the percentage of GFP+ and GFP- cells in Figure2.D, similar to what is provided in Figure S1.B. *

      This is a great suggestion so we have decided to add this information to all flow cytometry histograms within the paper, Figure 2D.

      *The '+' and '-' marks in Figure3.E appears to be mismatched with the results, please double-check and correct. *

      This has now been corrected.

      *I am curious about the interactions between secretors and 'receivers.' As the authors claim 'unbiased labeling' with this system, it's important to investigate whether the uptake abilities of receivers vary among different cell types. In other words, does the system exhibit cell-type preferences among receiver cells? This question could be optionally addressed through co-culture experiments involving secretors, receiver type A, and receiver type B. *

      We will perform additional experiments to address the reviewer’s question by directly comparing labelling efficiency across different receiver cell-types.

      Reviewer #3 (Significance (Required)):

      *This study reported a simple and sensitive system for labeling neighboring cells in vitro, which can be customized by replacing exchangeable components for customized need. With promising application in vitro, this system could be further developed and tested in vivo. Fluorescent protein labeling in neighboring cells has been a topic of study recently, and this manuscript introduced a new tool that is added to such resources, offering a user-friendly and customizable alternative. Overall, this system will be of interest to researchers working on neighbor-cell labeling and study of cell-cell communications. *

      We thank this reviewer for their positive comments on the value of our work.

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      Referee #1

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      This manuscript reports the development of a new bright fluorescent reporter that allows to label neighbouring cells. The system is based on upon secretion and uptake of s36GFP, a positively supercharged fluorescent protein. The authors also develop a Halo tag that will allow for straight forward colour exchange, as well as a customisable single plasmid construct with modular components.

      There are some minor suggestions that the authors may want to consider: 1. The authors conclude that "PUFFIN labelling is transferred rapidly between cells within minutes". They report in their time lapse experiments (Figure 2A,C) that sGFP can be detected within neighbours of secretors after 30 minutes when the cells are plated in a 50:1 non-labelled/secretor cell ratio, whereas it can be detected after 15 minutes when the cells are plated in a 1:9 ratio. Is there any synergistic effect on the signal when the proportion of secretors is increased or is this difference just because there is more signal, making it easier to visualise. 2. Is there any reason why the main Figure legends lack a title, but the supplementary figures have one? 3. In Figure 3, it may be helpful to label each option as A, B, C.. 4. In Figure 4E, the legends + JF646 and -JF646 may be switched around. Shouldn't the orange box should be (+) and the grey box should be (-)?

      Significance

      This is a very valuable tool to address how cells change the behaviour of those in their environment. It will be very valuable for those interested in cell non-autonomous effects within a cell population or tissue. It will be especially valuable for live cell imaging; pulse chase experiments as well as omics approaches to understand cell behaviour in niches.

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      Learn more at Review Commons


      Reply to the reviewers

      Reviewer #1

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      In this manuscript, Hoskins et al describe analyses of the effects of sequence variation on RNA levels, protein levels, and ribosome loading for the COMT gene. They use multiple experimental approaches to assay these levels and report on how sequence differences affect expression. Overall, the paper is interesting in that it presents a very deep dive into the effects of sequence variation on gene expression, including in coding sequences. However, there are some issues with the polysome loading assay technique and there are substantial issues with the figure presentation, which is often confusing.

      __Response: __Thanks for the positive assessment of our manuscript and the constructive feedback regarding the issues with the figure presentation. We have addressed all of these below and they have significantly improved the clarity.

      • Major comments:*

      • 1) Figures:*

      • --Fig 1C needs a cartoon description to show where the UTRs are. Y-axis should say "Ribo-seq CPM"*

      __Response: __Fig 1C now includes a schematic and the y-axis is updated. Locations of the uORFs are also now included in Fig 1A.

      • --Sup Fig 1A confusing, what is "start" what is the point of this panel?*

      __Response: __We apologize for the confusing labeling of the panels in Sup Fig 1. “Start” refers to the MB-COMT start codon. We removed this annotation as it is irrelevant to the figure. We included Supplementary Figure 1A to show RNA probing data for the entire transcript. Figure 1A and B only show the regions that encompass the variants assayed in our study.

      • --Sup Fig 1B what is PCBP del?*

      Response: “PCBP del” refers to deletion of PCBP1/PCBP2 RNA binding protein motifs. The legend now specifies this.

      • --Sup Fig 1C what is "uORF B restore"? The description in the figure legend is not interpretable. Draw diagrams of the mutations that tell the reader what was assayed and why it was assayed. Why are there multiplication factors listed (e.g. 1.33X)? The data are depicted on a log scale, which makes it difficult to appreciate the fold-effects of the mutations (e.g. does uORFA mutation increase expression 1.5-fold?). Please calculate median expression values and report them on a bar graph or something like that so readers can interpret the results.*

      Response: “uORF B restore” refers to restoration of the endogenous uORF B frame with a silent variant in the Flag tag of the transgene. The multiplication factors listed were the fold change in median fluorescence between each mutant and the template (wild-type) transgene. We retained the figures as they show the raw distribution of fluorescence in each cell line, but in response to the reviewer’s suggestion we included a new figure displaying the effects as a bar graph (Supplementary Figure 1E).

      • --Fig 2A. It's hard to understand the cartoon diagram of the expression reporter construct. Why is +Dox shown here? Does that induce transcription?*

      __Response: __The reviewer is correct. “+Dox” indicated addition of Doxycycline to induce transcription before the data collection step. We agree that there may have been too much detail in this diagram and have now removed this for simplicity and indicated this in the Methods section.

      • --Fig 2B. What's on the x-axis? is it Log2(RNA/gDNA) from sequencing? is it Log2 or Log10 or Ln?*

      __Response: __Variant effects in each figure were derived from ALDEx2 analysis, which reports effect size as the median standardized difference between groups. The effect size is not directly interpretable as a log fold change; it takes into account the difference between groups as well as the dispersion. This analysis strategy has been previously demonstrated for analysis of SELEX experiments (Fernandes et al. 2014), which are used to select small populations of cells with specific phenotypes.

      ALDEx2 is a robust and principled choice for the analysis of count-compositional datasets, particularly after selection (e.g. sorted cell populations or low-input RNA fractions arising from polysome profiling). While we understand that this choice leads to less easily interpretable effect sizes, the mathematical advantages make ALDEx2 a more appropriate choice for this type of data. In the past, we had used other methods to analyze log frequencies (limma, a frequency based normalization-dependent analysis, as previously employed in Hoskins et al. 2023. Genome Biology) that directly reported fold changes. In our experience, the ALDEx2-derived effect sizes are well-correlated with those estimates (Pearson correlation 0.93 for variants significant at a FDR

      • --Fig 2C. What's on the y-axis (same question). I think it's LogX(mutant/wt)RNA level?*

      __Response: __For consistency with other figures, we replaced Figure 2C to report the effect size statistic as described above.

      • --Fig 2D. What's on the y-axis now? Fold-difference (not log transformed)?*

      __Response: __Please see our response above.

      • --Fig 2E. The scale bar is flipped vs. normal convention. This is also log transformed, but it's not labeled. Please label as log(whatever) and put the negative values on the left side of the bar (red on the left, blue on the right).*

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion, we have now updated the scale bar.

      --Fig 2F y-axis should say Ribo-seq CPM.

      __Response: __Done

      • --Fig 3A - please separate the graphs more. Did you sort cells from ROI2 into populations, or just cells from ROI1?*

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion, we now separate the graphs further. Cells were sorted for both ROI 1 and ROI 2 libraries.

      • --Fig3C-F What's the "effect size" mean on these graphs?*

      __Response: __Please see the response above regarding the effect size estimate from ALDEx2.

      • --Fig3D It looks like the colors have switched for positive / negative "effects" on the heat map*

      • compared to Figure 2E. Please define what "median effect" means and be consistent with*

      • comparison to figure 2E.*

      __Response: __We intentionally inverted colors for Figure 3. The rationale is that a variant causing low protein abundance corresponds to enrichment in P3 compared to gDNA, as opposed to depletion in P3. On the other hand, for effects on RNA abundance and ribosome load, a variant leading to low abundance for these measures is depleted.

      • --Figure 4 what does effect size mean, what's the log-transformed scale (log2, 10, etc) same issues from earlier figures.*

      __Response: __Please see response above.

      • --Figure 5 "effect size"*

      __Response: __The same definition of effect size was used with the exception that effect sizes are multiplied by -1 so that color schemes are consistent for deleterious effects.

      • 2) "Codon stability" should always be "Codon Stability Coefficient", maybe use "CSC". Otherwise it's confusing.*

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. This has been updated throughout the manuscript.

      3) Flow cytometry section talks about "RNA fluorescence", which is confusing. You need to explain that it's IRES-driven mCherry as a proxy for the level of RNA first. It would also help to state explicitly that you sorted the cells into four populations, and define them all first before describing the results.

      __Response: __We apologize for the use of imprecise language with respect to this reporter. We revised the text to emphasize that mCherry is a proxy for RNA abundance and described the populations first as suggested.

      4) What are DeMask scores? How are they related to conservation or amino acid properties? If you define these, you can help the reader interpret the result.

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. We now include a conceptual interpretation of the DeMask score in the relevant section. We also include a comparison to a recent large language model for variant effect prediction (ESM1b, Brandes et al. 2023) which is now reported in Supplementary Figure 5C.

      5) There are several issues with the Polysome gradient fractionation. The gradients did not separate 40S, 60S, and monosomal fractions, so it's hard to tell how many ribosomes correspond to each peak on the gradient graph in Figure S5. This is probably because the authors used a 20-50% gradient instead of a lower percentage on top. More significantly, variations in the coding region of COMT are likely affecting the polysome association in ways the authors didn't consider. Nonsense codons will simply make the orf a lot shorter, hence fewer ribosomes. This may have nothing to do with NMD. Silent and missense variants may have unpredictable effects because they may make translation faster (fewer ribosomes) or slower (more ribosomes) on the reporter. This could lead to more ribosomes with less protein or fewer ribosomes with more protein. The reporter RNA also has an IRES loading mCherry on it, which probably helps blunt or dampen the effects of the COMT sequence variants on polysome location distribution. Overall, the design of the polysome assay is probably very limited in power to detect changes in ribosome loading (four fractions, limited separation by 20-50 gradient, IRES loading, etc). This is partially addressed in the limitations section, but these issues could be discussed in more detail.

      __Response: __Given high polysomal association of endogenous COMT and our COMT transgene (Supplementary Figure 2B, Supplementary Figure 5B-C), we chose a 20-50% sucrose gradient to better resolve changes in ribosome load among heavy polysomes.

      We thank the reviewer for offering another valid explanation regarding the depletion of nonsensense variants. We have now included a sentence in the discussion to indicate lower ribosome load for nonsense variants may be due to a shorter ORF as opposed to NMD. We further include the potential limitation of the assay due to the presence of the IRES-mCherry.

      We agree that variants may have unpredictable effects due to effects on the dynamics of translation elongation. To address this potential limitation, we attempted to devise a selective ribosome profiling strategy by immunoprecipitating N-terminal Flag tagged peptides to enrich ribosomes translating COMT. However, we were unable to achieve significant enrichment, limiting our ability to measure variant effects on elongation in a high-throughput manner.

      Significance

      The study is novel in that it assays both 5' UTR and a wide range of protein coding sequence variants for effects on RNA and protein levels from a clinically important gene, COMT. The manuscript reports that most protein coding variants have modest effects on RNA levels, and that the minority of variants that do affect RNA levels are not predictable due to their affect on codon usage. The work also determines the distribution of effects of variants on protein levels, finding a variety of effects on expression. Interestingly, the authors found SNPs that affect ribosome loading generally affect RNA structure of the COMT coding region, rather than affecting codon usage.

      This should appeal to many different communities of biologists - gene expression experts, geneticists, and clinical neurobiologists who focus on COMT. So there is a potential for fairly broad interest. The main limitations to the work are in a lack of clarity in the figures and perhaps in the underdeveloped nature of the discussion section. The discussion section reports new results (SNP associations that affect expression). These would make more sense in the results section, such that the discussion could do a better job relating the impact of sequence variants on expression levels to prior work to highlight the novelty.

      __Response: __We thank reviewer #1 for their positive assessment of the broad significance of our study. We also thank them for constructive suggestions that led to increased clarity in the presentation. We have moved the analysis of gnomAD variants to the Results section and expanded the discussion.

      Reviewer #2

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      Summary:

      Hoskins and colleagues expressed a reporter containing all silent, missense, and nonsense codons at 58 amino acid positions in the human COMT gene in HEK293T cells and measured levels of DNA, bulk RNA, and pooled polysomal mRNA. They included a C-terminal translational GFP fusion and a downstream transcriptional mCherry fusion in the reporter in order to also bin variants by their relative protein and mRNA levels by flow cytometry. They hypothesized that RNA structure, in-part by mediating uORF translation, influences COMT gene expression. The authors conclude by identifying previously-uncharacterized COMT variants that, in this reporter system, affect RNA abundance and ribosome load. We generally found the results of this paper convincing and clear. We do not have major comments, but have many minor comments that we hope the authors can address. These comments mostly deal with clarification on analysis metrics and giving recommendations on data presentation.

      __Response: __Thanks for highlighting the strengths of our study and the constructive suggestions to improve the presentation.

      Minor comments:

      In Figure 2C, the vertical axis reads "Median between-group difference". How was this metric calculated and normalized? We also agree that nonsense mutations having consistently-detrimental effects on RNA abundance is reassuring, but recommend more explanation as to why the difference in the effects of silence and missense mutations between regions may be biologically relevant.

      __Response: __Variant effects in each figure derive from ALDEx2 analysis, which reports effect size as the median standardized difference between groups. In particular, to avoid any distributional assumptions for standardization, ALDEx2 uses a permutation based non-parametric estimate of dispersion. The effect size is not directly interpretable as a log fold change; it takes into account the difference between groups as well as the max dispersion of the groups. We have now provided explicit references to the specific R functions that were used to calculate the effect size.

      ALDEx2 is robust for analysis of count-compositional datasets, particularly after selection and bottlenecking (e.g. sorted cell populations or low-input RNA fractions arising from polysome profiling). While we have used other methods to analyze log frequencies (limma, a frequency based normalization-dependent analysis, as previously employed in Hoskins et al. 2023. Genome Biology), we opted for the less-interpretable but more robust ALDEx2 analysis to report variant effects between varying nucleic acid inputs.

      We currently lack a mechanistic interpretation for the difference in RNA abundance effects between ROI 1 and 2. However, we observed consistent results using a different analysis framework, which makes use of variant frequencies (as in Hoskins et al. 2023 Genome Biology) instead of the centered log ratios used in ALDEx2 analysis, further supporting a biological difference between the two.

      In Figure 3, we believe that the authors are claiming that lower RNA abundance causes lower protein abundance in some variants. However, this data only reports on protein abundance relative to transcript abundance, not absolute protein abundance. We think the claim should be revised to (1) clarify that the authors are measuring protein per mRNA, and (2) express that lower mRNA amounts are more likely to co-occur with lower protein amounts, but that this data does not support any causative model.

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. We have now included an explicit description of the experimental design in the results section and noted that we are unable to assign protein abundance effects to underlying RNA abundance effects. In the current setup, we did not sort cells based on the ratio of moxGFP/mCherry fluorescence (protein per mRNA), but rather we defined gates based on the 2D plot of moxGFP versus mCherry. This is explicitly marked in Figure 3A.

      On page 9, the authors claim that their data supports a model that rs4633 increases RNA

      abundance, leading to higher COMT expression. Can the authors rule out a model whereby rs4633 facilitates translation initiation, as suggested by Tsao et al. 2011, leading to both an increase in mRNA and protein abundance?

      __Response: __Thanks for this question and opportunity to clarify. We have now added a sentence to the Discussion and included the following paragraph in the Supplementary Note:

      “Importantly, our study does not rule out a model where rs4633 facilitates translation initiation. Nevertheless, our data suggest a potential concurrent mechanism where rs4633 leads to higher protein abundance in human cell lines and in an in vitro translation assay (Tsao et al. 2011) by increasing RNA abundance. We note that Tsao et al did not directly measure RNA abundance in their study. In Supplementary Figure 3A of Nackley et al 2006, the APS haplotype containing rs4633 C>T showed slightly higher total RNA abundance compared to the LPS haplotype (in our study, the wild-type template). However, this was not statistically significant and was only observed for the S-COMT isoform. It is possible that our observations are compatible with the conclusions in Tsao et al. 2011. For example, increased translation of rs4633 C>T may lead to stabilization of the RNA.”

      The paper references "effect size" at multiple points (e.g. "polysome effect size") but we could not find this term explicitly defined (for example: for the polysome effect size, were RNA counts for each polysome fraction divided by the relative abundance of that RNA in total RNA?)

      __Response: __We apologize for this confusion. Please see our response above. We have also stated the definition of effect size explicitly in the revised manuscript.

      Could you elaborate on how you define "protein abundance and "effect size: in Figure 5G? How is enrichment in P3 or P1 calculated?

      __Response: __Effect size is defined as described above. Enrichment in P3 or P1 is calculated with respect to the abundance in gDNA (unsorted cells).

      Were 3396 variants considered for all readouts in this paper? How many of these variants were present in each ROI? It may be worth clarifying sample sizes.

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. The reviewer is correct: 3396 variants were present in all biological replicates and all readouts (after excluding polysome metafractions 1 and 2 and flow cytometry population 4). The Methods were updated to include all readouts that were dropped. The number of variants in each ROI are now included in this section of the main text.

      How did Twist generate these mutagenized sequences? We assumed that they used error-prone PCR due to the mention of multiple nucleotide polymorphisms, but couldn't find an explicit answer.

      __Response: __Twist generates these mutagenized inserts using degenerate primers. This allows all alternate codons to be assayed (all silent, missense changes). This is now noted in the Methods.

      https://www.twistbioscience.com/resources/technical-note/solid-phase-dna-synthesis-allows-tight-control-combinatorial-library

      In the methods, it may be worth elaborating on the composition of the HsCD00617865 plasmid. For example: this COMT reporter is under the control of a constitutively-expressed T7 promoter, correct?

      __Response: __The HsCD00617865 plasmid was only used as a template for PCR amplification and generation of the transgene. The transgene is cloned into a vector containing attB sites for recombination into the landing pad cell line (Matreyek et al 2020). Transcription is induced by Doxycycline from the landing pad locus. Plasmid maps used for transfection into the landing pad line are now included in the GitHub repository.

      In Supplementary Figures 4 and 5, it would be helpful to explicitly say that you are reporting Pearson correlations between biological replicates.

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. The legends have been updated accordingly.

      "After summarizing biological replicates (N=4) for each readout...": how did the authors summarize biological replicates? Were counts averaged?

      __Response: __Biological replicates were summarized using the median. This is now clarified in the Methods.

      The authors used pairwise correlations between flow cytometry fractions, polysome fractions, and total RNA/gDNA as indications of data quality. Do the authors expect for these counts to be strongly correlated? We would not necessarily expect to see a strong correlation between ribosome load and RNA/gDNA.

      __Response: __We used replicate correlation as an indicator of data quality. Our readouts of ribosome load reflect the abundance of a variant in a particular polysome fraction. Given that variants that are highly abundant in the RNA pool will on average be more highly represented in polysome fractions, we would expect a correlation between the abundance of a variant in total RNA and in polysome fractions.

      The authors may need to check that their standard deviations on fold changes are properly reported.

      __Response: __iIn the Figures and the main text, we specified the confidence intervals as calculated by ALDEx2 method instead of reporting standard deviations on fold changes,. Specifically, the confidence intervals were determined by Monte Carlo methods that produce a posterior probability distribution of the observed data given repeated sampling. Variants in which the confidence intervals do not cross 0 are considered true discoveries (section 5.4.1 of the ALDEx2 vignette on Bioconductor).

      https://www.bioconductor.org/packages/devel/bioc/vignettes/ALDEx2/inst/doc/ALDEx2_vignette.html#541_The_effect_confidence_interval

      We would expect standard deviation bounds to be symmetric for log fold changes, but not on unlogged fold changes - for example see page 8, for the sentence "our point estimate for nonsense variant effects on COMT RNA abundance was approximately a two-fold decrease relative to the gDNA frequency (fold change of 0.43 +/- 0.13; mean +/- standard deviation; Methods)."

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. To avoid any confusion about the symmetry, we replaced the +/- notation, and explicitly noted the mean and standard deviation. To help the reader gain an intuition of the magnitude of variant effects, we conducted a frequency based normalization-dependent analysis using limma (as previously employed in Hoskins et al. 2023. Genome Biology). We now report a fold change (unlogged) for RNA abundance compared to gDNA abundance. The point estimate is the mean and s.d. across all nonsense variants.

      On page 10, the authors say that their data suggests that hydrophobicity in the early coding region of COMT may be important for COMT folding. If this is the case, would we expect to see this effect in flow cytometry data (which is affected by protein degradation) and not polysome profiling (which is unaffected by post-translational protein degradation)?

      __Response: __We apologize as we are uncertain about the reviewer’s intended question. The section that refers to the importance of hydrophobicity indeed refers to the flow cytometry data. While there are specific instances in which the amino acid properties encoded by the mRNA influences translation dynamics, these are not universally true. Consequently, we did not expect these impacts to be observed at the level of polysome profiling.

      We believe that we would have some trouble replicating the analysis from this paper from the raw data, given that the bulk of the analysis on GitHub is presented as a single R Markdown file, with references to local files to which we do not have access. We recommend that the authors add additional documentation to their repository to facilitate re-analysis.

      __Response: __Thanks for the opportunity to address this issue of critical importance. To facilitate replication, we have now deposited all analysis files to Zenodo and refactored the code to enable replication by simply running a markdown file.

      In Figure 1B, indicating that more signal indicates less structure (in the legend or the figure itself) may assist readers who are unfamiliar with DMS-seq.

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. This is now updated.

      Figure 1C does a great job presenting evidence for the translation of uORFs, but does not seem to flow with the overall argument of the paper, so may fit better in the supplement.

      __Response: __We considered this suggestion, and opted for keeping its placement as it gives evidence that our transgene is translated primarily as the MB-COMT isoform. This ensures that, for variants upstream of the S-COMT isoform, we can assay effects on ribosome load that are tied to mechanisms of translation elongation and codon stability.

      We believe there is a typo in the Figure 1 legend that should read "K562" instead of "H562".

      __Response: __Thank you, this was indeed a typo.

      You also gated to separate into P1-P4, correct? Can you also show the bounds of that gating

      strategy in Figure 3A?

      __Response: __This has been updated. We also added the gating strategy in response to comments from reviewer #1.

      We find Figure 3F very compelling. Do you have any theories as to why mutating I59-H66 to

      nonpolar, uncharged residues leads to increased COMT expression?

      __Response: __We do not have any theories for why this may be. However, we noted that with the exception of V63, residues I59-H66 are not evolutionarily constrained (based on DeMask entropy values). This suggests mutational tolerance for nonpolar, uncharged residues in this region (with the exception of V63 and H66; see Figure 3D).

      There appears to be a non-negligible proportion of di- and tri- nucleotide polymorphisms in Supplementary Figure 4. Were these excluded in downstream analyses?

      __Response: __These variants are expected from the Twist mutagenesis strategy and included in analysis. We believe they are at lower frequency compared to SNPs due to less favorable annealing of the degenerate primers.

      A minor typo in the discussion reads "fluoresce".

      __Response: __Done

      Significance

      Describe the nature and significance of the advance (e.g. conceptual, technical, clinical) for the field.

      This work investigated the regulatory effects of thousands of coding variants in the COMT gene, focusing on two regions with clinical significance, by using high-throughput reporter assays. The results from this will be useful for clinical scientists interested in understanding the impacts of COMT mutations and be a useful framework for other systems/computational biologists to understand the impacts of coding mutations across different levels of regulatory function. Mutations in protein regions, if having a function, are classically known to interfere with protein function. There are fewer large-scale efforts to understand the impacts of coding mutations affecting expression through potentially changing of RNA structure or codon optimization - this work has contributed towards that frontier.

      Place the work in the context of the existing literature (provide references, where appropriate). This is (as far as I am aware) the first paper that has integrated high-throughput screens massively parallel reporter assays from RNA degradation, ribosomal load, and flow cytometry. Previous papers have tended to measure on expression regulation on only one dimension (i.e. Greisemer et al. 2023 on RNA degradation, Sample et al. 2019 on ribosomal load, and de Boer at al. 2020 on protein expression).

      __Response: __Thanks for highlighting the novelty of our approach compared to existing strategies in the literature.

      State what audience might be interested in and influenced by the reported findings.

      Clinicians/researchers interested in COMT, computational biologists, geneticists and potentially structural biologists interested in understanding the consequences of amino acid mutations on RNA/protein expression

      __Response: __Thanks for noting the broad significance of our study.

      Define your field of expertise with a few keywords to help the authors contextualize your point of view. Indicate if there are any parts of the paper that you do not have sufficient expertise to evaluate.

      Genomics, Massively parallel reporter assays, High-throughput regulatory screens.

      Reviewer #3 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      *This manuscript reports on transcript sequence variants that affect expression of the gene COMT. Targeted analysis of SNPs identifies 5' UTR variants that affect COMT, leading to the identification of translated uORFs. Common coding sequence SNPs do not affect COMT expression, however. Massively parallel analyses of mRNA abundance, protein abundance, and translation are combined to look more broadly at coding sequence variants. These analyses focus on regions of predicted structure in the COMT transcript. Both silent and missense mutations that increase mRNA abundance are identified. Protein abundance is then measured and many missense mutations are found to change protein levels. To address translation directly, analysis of polysome loading is performed and significant differences are identified, although technical challenges limit data quality in these experiments. These different experiments are then analyzed jointly to classify mutation effects and identify a class of silent mutations with expression effects, leading to a proposal that these act through structure. *

      *The joint, integrative analysis of COMT variants through a range of methods allows clearer insights into interconnected post-transcriptional effects. The massively parallel experiments generate high-quality data, although targeted validation of key results would strengthen the work. The findings advance our understanding of silent variant effects, which remains an open question, and technical innovations could find broader applications. *

      __Response: __Thanks for the positive assessment of the quality of the data generated and the potential for the broader application of the technical innovations.

      *I do have concerns with the present version of this work. *

        • There is no validation presented for high-throughput experimental data. I would say that validating the effects of M152T and V63V variants from Figure 2B would substantially strengthen the work and support key conclusions. * __Response: __Our experiments collectively enabled nearly 10,000 measurements of variant effect (summed over three layers of gene expression). The goal of our study was to identify broad mechanisms of variant effect. While we are excited about the specific variants uncovered, targeted experimental methods for validating changes to RNA abundance, such as RT-qPCR, are unlikely to be sufficiently sensitive. For example, RNA abundance effects in our study had a median effect size of 1.47 for variants up in RNA, and 0.4 for variants down in RNA. This likely corresponds to less than one Ct difference between the variant and the reference allele. Indeed, previous studies such as Findlay et al., 2018 Nature that reported similar effect sizes (FGF7 and FOS, respectively (Figure 4B).

      Thus, for time and cost concerns, we respectfully suggest that targeted experiments involving V63V and M152T are beyond the scope of our study. Nevertheless, to further strengthen our conclusions, we have computationally confirmed our findings using a different analysis framework. We found 75/76 of the variants significant by ALDEx2 analysis were also significant by limma analysis (a frequency based normalization-dependent analysis, as previously employed in Hoskins et al. 2023. Genome Biology) using the same FDR (0.1).

      • In the fluorescent reporter scheme, it seems that variants reducing mRNA abundance should be enriched in the "P2" gate region relative to "P1", as they would have lower mRNA abundance and correspondingly lower protein abundance. However, this analysis is not performed, and instead P1 and P3 are compared (Figure 3G), which would seem to focus on protein-level effects. *

      __Response: __Our initial hesitation in comparing P2 to P1 is that the P2 population may be enriched for cells that underwent inefficient induction of transcription with Doxycycline. Hence technical factors as opposed to the effect of the variants may dominate this comparison. In response to the reviewer’s comments, we carried out the suggested analysis (new Supplementary Figure 5B). We found that variants that are down in RNA are enriched in P2 relative to P1 as expected. This is now noted in the Results section.

      • In general the work classifies variants in several different ways and it would help to be a little clearer in naming these classes. For instance, in describing the FACS-based analysis of variant expression it is written, "protein fluorescence conditioned on RNA fluorescence" which is confusing at best-it's a fluorescence-based measurement that is used indirectly to measure COMT reporter abundance. *

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. We agree that our initial word-choice was imprecise. We rewrote this section to indicate mCherry fluorescence is an indirect proxy for RNA abundance.

      • Likewise, the populations with shifted GFP/mCherry ratio in this assay are described as "uncorrelated" populations, which is opaque and somewhat inaccurate-there seems to be a correlation in this group but at a different ratio. *

      __Response: __We have revised the language in the manuscript. We opted for “low or high RNA/protein abundance” to indicate the relationship between GFP and mCherry fluorescence in populations P3 and P4.

      • In the same way, "deleterious variants" is used to describe protein abundance changes, but this term implies a fitness effect and is not very specific. *

      __Response: __We apologize for the confusing word choice. We did away with this term in favor of “variants with low protein abundance”.

      • In discussing the effects of missense COMT variants on protein levels, there is an implicit assumption that degradation of mis-folded protein (or perhaps properly-folded protein with excess hydrophobic exposure?) explains these effects. This is plausible, but it would help to lay out this reasoning more clearly. *

      __Response: __Thanks for the suggestion. We have added a sentence at the end of the section that specifies this assumption and cites a recent study reporting that rare missense variants in COMT may be misfolded and degraded by the proteasome (Larsen et al. 2023).

      • It is written that,"In line with codon stability as a predictor of translational efficiency (Presnyak et al., 2015), variants with low codon optimality were depleted from polysomes compared to variants with optimal codons". However, this mis-states the conclusions of the cited study, which notes, "Importantly, under normal conditions the ribosome occupancy of the HIS3 opt and non-opt constructs was determined to be similar (Fig. 6B)". *

      __Response: __We apologize for mis-stating the conclusions of Presnyak et al. 2015. We have now revisited the relevant literature to more accurately place our conclusions in the context of literature. While Presnyak et al. and several other studies (Bazzini et al., 2016; Mauger et al., 2019) have clearly linked the association between codon choice and mRNA stability. We now reference Mauger et al. 2019 who used elegant experiments to demonstrate that mRNA secondary structure is a driver of increased protein production and synergizes with codon optimality (Figure 5B). Their results further support the role of codon optimality on RNA stability while providing evidence of additive impact on translation efficiency.

      • It is written that, "One intriguing possibility is to develop multiplexed assays of variant effect on RNA folding, using mutational profiling RNA probing methods (Weng et al., 2020; Zubradt et al., 2017)." How would this differ from the "Mutate and Map" approach in doi://10.1038/nchem.1176 and subsequent work from the same group? *

      __Response: __Thanks for pointing out the more recent work following the initial papers in 2010-2011. We have missed the work from the Das lab that extended the Mutate and Map approach to utilize mutational profiling (Cheng and Kladwang et al., 2017). We updated our Discussion to indicate that the proposed assay has been pioneered and is a viable approach for high-throughput determination of variant effects on RNA folding.

      Because mutational profiling methods leverage reverse transcriptase readthrough and mismatch incorporation, they enable deeper and more uniform coverage of sequencing reads, particularly for longer transcripts. A key design principle of the proposed assay is to mutagenize only certain types of variants in the library such that they do not overlap RT mismatch signatures arising from the RNA probing reagent/RT enzyme. For example, readthrough of DMS base adducts largely generates A>N or C>N mismatches, so a variant library would be designed to only contain variants at G or T bases. This ensures variants in the library can be differentiated from signals of the RNA probing method.

      ***Referees cross-commenting** *

      *I generally agree with the other reviewers and found that many small points on the figures were confusing, and in some cases the values being computed and displayed were under-specified. *

      *I agree with Reviewer 1 that the polysome fractionation probably has limited power due to experimental design, and that the interpretation of changed ribosome loading is subtle. *

      __Response: __In response to these helpful comments, we have clarified the points highlighted by the reviewers and expanded the limitations section related to the ribosome loading assay. Thanks for these constructive suggestions to strengthen our study.

      *Reviewer #3 (Significance (Required)): *

      *The joint, integrative analysis of COMT variants through a range of methods allows clearer insights into interconnected post-transcriptional effects. The massively parallel experiments generate high-quality data, although targeted validation of key results would strengthen the work. The findings advance our understanding of silent variant effects, which remains an open question, and technical innovations could find broader applications. *

      __Response: __Thanks for pointing out the high-quality of the generated data and the broad significance of our study. The goal of our study was to identify broad mechanisms of variant effect instead of focusing on differential expression for any specific variants.

    1. Note: This response was posted by the corresponding author to Review Commons. The content has not been altered except for formatting.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      We thanks the reviewers for their critique of our report and our responses to all of their comments are given below.


      Reviewer #1 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      Summary Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite. Intracellular survival critical depends on secretory vesicles named dense granules. These vesicles are predicted to contain >100 different proteins that are released into PV, PV membrane and the host cell to control the parasites intracellular environment and host cell gene expression and immune response. How and where these vesicles are released from the parasite is a long-standing question in the field because T. gondii, and other apicomplexan parasites contained a complex pellicular cytoskeletal structure called the IMC which limits dense granule access to the plasma membrane. In this manuscript by Chelaghma, Ke and colleagues demonstrates for the first time that dense granules are secreted from the parasite at pore structures called the apical annuli. The authors used their previously generated HyperLOPIT data set and identified a plasma membrane protein that is specifically enriched at the apical annuli. Using BioID the authors then identify three SNARE proteins that also localize at the apical annuli. The localization of these proteins is determined using excellent super-resolution structured illumination microscopy. Conditional protein knockdowns for all four proteins were created and both proteomics and microscopy used to demonstrate a reduction in dense granule secretion in the absence of these proteins. Collectively, these data make new and substantial contributions to our understanding of mechanisms of dense granule secretion. Major comments: Overall, these data is convincing and well-described. The text is clear and well written. There are a few instances (see below) where the authors doesn't adequately describe the data or over state the strength of the results. These issues could all be addressed editorially or by process existing data.

      Comment 1.1

      The authors use proteomics and IFA to show that there is a reduction (rather than an inhibition of) in dense granule secretion. However, from the phase images in figure 5, the vacuoles of KD parasites look normal and so not have the phenotypes that one would expect after a significant reduction in dense granule secretion, such as the "bubble" phenotype described for GRA17 and GRA23 knockouts (Gold et al 2015; PMID: 25974303). Authors should describe their findings in the context of the expected phenotypes based on the published literature. The statement on line 369-371 is too strong and should imply a reduction rather than an inhibition of dense granule secretion.

      Authors’ response: It is difficult to compare our results to individual dense granule protein mutants described in the literature because such phenotypes are the result of the loss of only a single protein being exported to the host, whereas we are observing the effects of the reduction of secretion of up to 120+ different proteins. Furthermore, we agree with this reviewer that none of the protein knockdowns appear to completely prevent dense granule secretion, which we implied by ‘inhibition’, and this could be either due to incomplete knockdown of each of these proteins with some residue function, or some redundancy where other proteins can contribute to secretion. We have changed the statement flagged by this reviewer to: ‘Depletion of all four of these proteins affects dense granule secretion*’ to avoid the interpretation of complete loss of function. We now further state that residual secretion may still occur and consider this in the light of possible reasons for this (Discussion, paragraph 4). In any case, none of these considerations change our conclusion that these proteins, at the site of the apical annuli, are implicated in dense granule secretion. *

      __Comment 1.2 __

      The more severe phenotype observed in the AAQa iKD and the additional localizations of AAQa and AAQc suggests an additional role for these protein in protein trafficking that is supported by the authors data. In both AAQa and AAQc there appears to be an accumulation of GRA1 in a post-Golgi compartment and is less vesicular in appearance than the phenotype observed in the AAQb iKD parasites. Additionally, I disagree with the authors assessment that KD of these proteins does not effect microneme localization. In both AAQa and AAQc there appears to be increased number of micronemes at the basal end of the parasites compared with controls. Although this is not a direct focus of the authors papers, a description of these findings should be included in the results and discussion sections.

      Authors’ response: We have included a more complete discussion that considers the differences in phenotypes of the four mutants, including additional locations of two SNAREs, all of which is consistent with known SNARE biology (Discussion, fourth paragraph). These considerations, however, have no impact on our conclusions where all four proteins, including two that are exclusive to the apical annuli, have equivalent effects on dense granule exocytosis.

      Concerning the effects on microneme and rhoptries of the different knockdowns, we have modified and limited our interpretation to overall IFA staining strength and protein organelle protein abundance by proteomics, where we see no differences. This addresses if there is a major post-Golgi trafficking defect that could affect biogenesis of all of micronemes, rhoptries and dense granules, for which we see no evidence. Whether there are subtle differences in the location of these organelles, which are known to show some variability, is beyond the scope or relevance to our central questions. Given that growth phenotypes are seen for all mutants, it is quite possible that secondary effects of retarded cells might present as some disorder within the cell, although we saw nothing conspicuous of this nature in many hundreds of examples observed.

      __ Comment 1.3__

      Presentation of the data in Figure 5. This figure contains images where the fluorescent dense granule signal is overlaid on phase images. However, in some cases (AAQb, AAQc, AAQa, GRA1 KD) the merged imaged looks like a straight merges of the two images, whereas in the rest of the images it looks like a thresholded fluorescent image is merge with phase. Authors need to process the images in consistent manner and provide a description of the image processing in the figure legend and materials and methods.

      Authors’ response: Thank you for this suggestion, we have now processed all of these merges the same way (ImageJ -> merge channels -> Composite Sum). While the merges are only intended to aid in aligning the fluorescence signal with the phase image, we agree that it is better to present them the same way.

      Minor comments:

      Comment 1.4

      The discussion is overly long and could be shorted in some places. Lines 373 and 388 in particularly don't seems directly relevant to the manuscript.

      Authors’ response: The paragraph identified by this reviewer considers the LMBD protein that is the first, and currently only, trans plasma membrane protein specific to the apical annuli that implies that this structure is exposed to the exterior of the cell. It is, therefore, of considerable significance to how we interpret the function and behaviour of these annular structures. We believe that it is very relevant to our study to consider what else is known about these relatively mysterious, but widely conserved, eukaryotic proteins, which is the subject of this paragraph. The other reviewers highlight the relevance of LMBD3 to the interpretation of this structure. This reviewer hasn’t identified any further superfluous discussion elements, and we believe that the current length is not excessive and is justified.

      Comment 1.5

      Line 184 - Remove question mark from this sentence

      Authors’ response: The question mark has been removed.

      Comment 1.6

      Line 321. Should read Figure 7A, not figure 6A.

      Authors’ response: Thank you, corrected.

      Comment 1.7

      Line 139 - should read Figure 1B instead of 2C

      Authors’ response: Thank you, corrected (although to 1C, which is in fact correct).

      Comment 1.8

      Figure 3- Column labels for early, mid, or late endodyogeny would help with the clarity of this figure, especially for readings who are unfamiliar with the field.

      Authors’ response: We have labelled the figure as suggested.

      Comment 1.9

      Figure S2 - the letter n is missing from knockdown labels. And the number 3 from LMBD 3 is covering the word knockdown in the last panel.

      Authors’ response: Thank you, corrected.

      Reviewer #1 (Significance (Required)):

      The manuscript provides, for the first time, insight into the mechanism of dense granule secretion in Toxoplasma and identifies the sites on parasite pellicle where these vesicles can traverse the IMC to reach the plasma membrane. This is a significant conceptual advance in our understanding of this cellular vital process, one that is required for T. gondii intracellular survival. This paper would have broad interest from other research groups studying parasitology, secretion and protein trafficking.

      Reviewer #2 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      Summary: This manuscript reports on characterizing the function of the long-known apical annuli, which are pores embedded in the membrane skeleton of Toxoplasma gondii. Since their function has remained long elusive, this manuscript is a major breakthrough.

      Comment 2.1

      It is of note, however, that this breakthrough, using the same three SNAREs, was recently, in parallel, also reported by Fu et al in PLoS Pathogens (PMID 36972314), which work is cited here. The additional novelty here is the finding of LMDB3 in the plasma membrane at the site of the annuli. This is a widely conserved protein for which little function is known except roles in signaling, The connection between LMDB3 and the SNAREs is through BioID, but they are preys quite far down the list. Furthermore, the function of LMDB3 is not explored here. As such, the additional advance compared to the Fu et al report is limited. The function of the SNAREs in dense granule exocytosis is much more robustly done here through the proteomics data displaying an accumulation of DG proteins.

      Authors’ response: While it is true that the discovery of the three SNAREs at the apical annuli was made and reported in parallel by Fu et al (2023), a major difference in their conclusions is that they suggest that dense granules are not secreted at this site (this reviewer has mistakenly thought that this was their conclusion — “In our experiments, none of the SNAREs were shown to be related to the exocytosis of GRAs. Therefore, the mechanism that mediates exocytosis of GRAs at the plasma membrane remains to be elucidated.” Fu et al (2023)*). The failure of Fu et al to detect this was almost certainly because they only tested for dense granule secretion defects by inducing depletion of the apical annuli SNAREs after the parasites had invaded the host cells. It is known that dense granule protein secretion happens rapidly in the initial moments after invasion, so apical annuli perturbation in their assay would have only occurred after these secretion events. We directly discuss this experimental difference in our revised discussion and how it accounts for their different conclusions (Discussion, fourth paragraph). We independently tested for this effect by quantitative proteomics which further supported our conclusions. *

      As this reviewer indicates, we additionally discovered that a protein (LMBD3) also spans the plasma membrane at these structures, and this implicates signalling or events at the cell surface. We show that this protein is also required for normal dense granule secretion. While we have not identified an explicit mechanistic role for LMBD3 in this process, such insight is also lacking for all LMBD proteins, including those in humans where they are implicated in disease. While we continue to pursue this interesting question of LMBD3 function, we are by no means alone in cell biology for these answers to be outstanding still.

      Comment 2.2

      The presentation of the data is very clean and convincing, and the broader evolutionary context is well-presented as well. The discussion on whether maintaining the IMC during cell division is an innovation or ancestral is an open debate where the authors seem to come down on the side of innovation, but the evidence could go either way, so I would caution a bit more.

      Authors’ response: We are puzzled by this reviewer’s comment because we do not make reference to the maintenance of the IMC during cell division in this evolutionary context — ancestral or a recent innovation. We describe the case of Toxoplasma and its close relatives maintaining the maternal IMC during division as ‘unusual’, not ancestral (second sentence of the last paragraph of the Discussion), and this is the only statement that we think might have elicited this query from the reviewer. But this does not imply what the ancestral state might have been which is not a subject of any of our considerations here.

      Major comments: - Are the key conclusions convincing?

      Comment 2.3

      The identification of the three SNARE proteins through BioID is not very convincingly represented in Table S1. These SNAREs were not showing significant changes and were not detected universally across the three bio-reps, and thyn were also present in the controls. Although this does not diminish the message of the work, this appears to be quite Cherry-picked, while other top hits in the BioID were overlooked, e.g. Nd6 and Nd2 are right in the top ten, which have a demonstrated role in rhoptry exocytosis. This certainly piqued my interest, but is not even discussed.

      *Authors’ response: We have used BioID as a protein discovery strategy, not to directly measure protein proximity for which it is an imperfect measure for many technical reasons. Accordingly, discovered ‘candidates’ for proteins that might occur at the annuli were all independently verified by protein reporter tagging. We focused our efforts on discovering apical annuli plasma membrane-tethered proteins and, therefore, parsed our BioID data for those shown previously to be in the plasma membrane by LOPIT spatial proteomics (Barylyuk et al, 2020). It is true that the SNARE proteins were not favoured over many other proteins in the BioID signal, but their verified location at these sites justified our pursuit of them as new apical annuli proteins. *

      Other proteins, including the previously identified apical proteins Nd6 and Nd2 that are implicated in rhoptry secretion, similarly piqued our interest! But when we reporter-tagged them they were revealed as BioID false positives, consistent with published work on these proteins, and other ‘top hits’ included some other false positives. Table S1 is included as a further recourse for the field, but it only served as a first step in functional protein discovery in our study.

      Comment 2.4

      TgAAQa, TgAAQb and TgAAQc were recently also reported to localize to the annuli by Fu et al 2023 (PMID: 36972314; this report is even cited in this manuscript for Rab11a accumulation), who gave them different names: TgStx1, TgStx20, and TgStx21 (not in this order). I see no reason to adopt a new nomenclature here, which will be very confusing in the future literature. Please adopt the Stx names in this manuscript.

      *Authors’ response: We agree that where there is precedent in naming it is better to use the earliest used names. Naming of proteins is also best done to reflect orthologues found between species so that consistent names indicate common functions. The naming system proposed by Fu et al for the Qa, Qb and Qc SNAREs unfortunately does not fulfil this second important criterion. They based their names on ‘Syntaxin’ which was first used for an animal SNARE of the nervous system that is almost exclusively used for Qa paralogues. Furthermore, in animals Stx1-4 are all vertebrate-specific Qa paralogues that have arisen only in this group. So, to name the Qa SNARE of Toxoplasma according to one of these animal-specific nerve proteins (Stx1) implies an evolutionary inheritance that is very unlikely (i.e., lateral gene transfer from an animal) and is unsupported by published phylogenies. Furthermore, Fu et al also give the Qb and Qc SNAREs the animal Qa name ‘syntaxin’, and arbitrarily number them Stx21 and Stx20. So, while they have named these proteins first, we think that the names given provide confusing and misleading labels for these proteins. *

      We initially proposed a simpler system according to the location of the SNARE in Toxoplasma (AA = Apical Annuli) and the Q domain type (Qa, Qb, Qc), e.g., AAQa. But on reflection we propose using precedent and orthology and adopt the existing orthologue names as the most useful solution. Klinger et al (2022) have resolved the phylogeny of the three Toxoplasma SNAREs, and they group with strong phylogenetic support with known eukaryote-wide orthogroups with previous names: Qa=StxPM (Syntaxin Plasma Membrane); Qb=NPSN (Novel Plant ‘Syntaxin’); and Qc=Syp7 (a Qc SNARE family originally thought to be specific to plants). These SNARE types are all known to operate at the plasma membrane, and accordingly the names TgStxPM, TgNPSN, and TgSyp7 would indicate their orthology and similar functional location known in other eukaryotes. We have justified this preferred naming system in the text of our report (Discussion, third paragraph), but making it clear which Fu et al names correspond to these more universally consistent names so that these can be easily cross-referenced.

      Comment 2.5

      No knock-down of LMBD3 is pursued: how would this impact SNARE distribution and/or other annuli proteins? The fitness score is very severe, -4.07, so this is somewhat puzzling. Lower comment is related. This could provide tantalizing insights in the architecture of the annuli, and/or their function as a secretory conduit.

      LMBD3 relative to the SNAREs is not explored: co-IPs or detergent extraction to see if they are all in a physically interacting complex. What keeps them together. Is LBCDR3 interfacing with any annuli proteins Cen2 is suggested through the image in Fig 2A, though there appears to be some separation in some images: AAP2, 3 and 5 were previously shown to have smaller diameters than Cen2 and therefore appear better positioned.

      Authors’ response: LMBD3 knockdowns were pursued in so far as identifying that they also have a phenotype of reduced dense granule secretion as for the SNAREs, but it will indeed require further studies of this intriguing molecule to define its specific function. Our central questions of this study were what is the association of the apical annuli with respect to the IMC and plasma membrane, and what is the overall significance and function of these structures. These core questions have been answered in our study. The questions that this review raises here are further and logical questions specifically related to LMBD3 that we are now pursuing as an independent follow-on study.

      • Should the authors qualify some of their claims as preliminary or speculative, or remove them altogether?

      Comment 2.6

      The discussion on whether maintaining the IMC during cell division is an innovation or ancestral is an open debate where the authors seem to come down on the side of innovation, but the evidence could go either way, so I would caution a bit more.

      Authors’ response: This comment (2.2) is already made and addressed above.

      • Would additional experiments be essential to support the claims of the paper? Request additional experiments only where necessary for the paper as it is, and do not ask authors to open new lines of experimentation.

      Comment 2.7

      The heavy focus on the LMBD3 in Fig 1 and the evolutionary discussion would warrant a more direct functional dissection. Either through an LMDB3 known-down, or its interface with the SNAREs or annuli more directly.

      Authors’ response: This reviewer has not made it clear that further work on LMBD3 is necessary to support the conclusions of the paper or address the questions that we have asked, only that they would like to see more insight into LMBD3. We would also! But we do present knock-down studies and show that there are functional consequences for dense granule secretion. The question of if LMBD3 is involved in the maintenance of apical annuli structure and/or integrity is an interesting one, but a further question to those that we have presented in this first study. LMBD proteins have poorly characterised molecular functions throughout eukaryotes, and while we are also motivated to understand their role more, this has not proven a straightforward task in other systems also.

      Comment 2.8

      The claim that the annuli are the conduits though which the dense granules travel to get exocytosis is not directly supported by any of the experiments as it is solely based on co-localization studies, not even direct interactions.

      Authors’ response: We agree that we have not directly observed dense granules in the act of secretion at the apical annuli. Dense granules are known to be very mobile in the cell and traffic dynamically on actin networks. So, they do not accumulate at any one site, and their fusion and exocytosis is likely a rapid, transient event. Multiple lines of evidence for them pausing and fusing with the plasma membrane, while indirect, independently support this conclusion:

      • SNARE proteins restricted to the apical annuli in the plasma membrane are required for normal dense granule secretion
      • When these SNAREs are depleted dense granule proteins accumulate in the parasite
      • Rab11A is a further vesicle-tethering molecule that has been shown to be attached to dense granules and its mutation also leads to inhibition of dense granule proteins (Venugopal et al, 2020)
      • When the apical annuli SNAREs are depleted Rab11A accumulates at the annuli (Fu et al, 2023) Collectively, we believe that the claim that the apical annuli are the sites of dense granule secretion is very strongly supported, particularly by the very molecules that would be required for vesicle docking and fusing at these sites, and is justified to be noted in the title. We have, however, made it clear in our report now that these data are indirect and that dense granules are yet to be captured in the act of secreting their contents at these sites (Discussion, paragraph five).

      **Referees cross-commenting**

      The consolidating themes I see (and value) in the reviews:

      Comment 2.9

      1. functional follow up of role of LMDB3 Authors’ response: This work is already part of a follow-up project.

      Comment 2.10

      adopt nomenclature of Fu et al, to avoid confusion in literature

      Authors’ response: Please see our response to Comment 2.4

      Comment 2.11

      better integrate the findings in light of the Fu et al publication throughout this manuscript

      *Authors’ response: We have further acknowledged and compared our findings to those of the parallel study of Fu et al with additional text in the discussion. *

      Comment 2.12

      no direct evidence of dense granules at annuli; attenuate the claims (in title etc), or include supportive data

      Authors’ response: Please see our response to the equivalent Comment 2.8 above.

      Reviewer #2 (Significance (Required)):

      • Describe the nature and significance of the advance (e.g. conceptual, technical, clinical) for the field.

      Comment 2.13

      The presented manuscript reports on a novel protein, LMBD3, embedded in the plasma membrane of Toxoplasma gondii at the site of the apical annuli, which are pores across the inner membrane complex (IMC) skeleton. This provides a novel, putative connection between the cytoplasm and plasma membrane, although this is not directly explored here. Through LMDB3 proximity biotinylation, three SNAREs are identified that were recently reported to be involved in dense granule exocytosis, which is is confirmed here through robust proteomic experiments.

      Authors’ response: This reviewer has made an error here in stating that the parallel study of Fu et al implicated the apical annuli SNAREs with dense granule exocytosis. See our response to Comment 2.1 where we describe why the experimental design used for Fu et al was unlikely to test this question effectively.

      • Place the work in the context of the existing literature (provide references, where appropriate). The annuli were first reported in 2006, and understanding of their proteomic composition has expanded over the years, however, a function has remained long elusive. This report, together with another parallel performed work, now uses three SNAREs, named TgAAQa, TgAAQb and TgAAQc in this report but previously named TgStx1, TgStx20, and TgStx21 (not in this orthologous order), localizing to the annuli as tool to assign the function of the annuli to exocytosis of the dense granules during intracellular parasite multiplication. The evolutionary context and concepts of the new findings are very well-embedded in the existing literature and insights.

      • State what audience might be interested in and influenced by the reported findings. The audience comprises people with a specific interest beyond apicomplexan biology, basically all Alveolates as they all share a similar membrane skeleton. Assigning a putative function to widely conserved LMBD3 will be of high interest to this completely different audience as well.

      Reviewer #3 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      In the submitted work "Apical annuli are specialised sites of post-invasion secretion of dense granules in Toxoplasma", the authors explore the role of the apical annuli in T. gondii. They identify a number of proteins that localize to the membranes at the annuli, including SNARE proteins that are known players in vesicle fusion. They also shown that knockdown of several annuli localized proteins blocks replication and secretion of dense granule cargo into the parasitophorous vacuole. Overall, the work is well done and an important contribution to the field.

      Major comments

      Comment 3.1

      1. In the title and throughout the manuscript the authors claim that the apical annuli are sites of dense granule secretion (e.g. "firmly implicating the apical annuli as the site of dense granule docking and membrane fusion." or "that the apical annuli are sites of vesicle fusion and exocytosis"). However, there does not appear to be direct evidence of the dense granules docking and fusing at these sites.

      It would be ideal to see vesicles docked via EM at the annuli, either in wildtype or knockdown parasites. This may not be possible - if not, I recommend toning down the conclusions on docking (or "specialized sites of secretion" as this has not been shown) and instead stating that these structures play a critical role in dense granule secretion. Authors’ response: Please see our response to Comments 2.8 & 2.12, and we have toned down this conclusion as requested to make it clear that direct observations of dense granule fusion are yet to be made. Capturing the transient event of dense granule docking by EM would indeed be a very challenging ambition.

      Comment 3.2

      The authors should discuss earlier (in the results) the findings of Fu et al. which:

      Authors’ response: The parallel study of Fu et al (2023) has indeed generated some similar data, but there are also multiple points of difference including their conclusions. We discuss all of these relevant points in the Discussion, and believe that it would make the Results narrative confusing to introduce this element of discussion there. Our study has not been performed in response to theirs, but rather was conducted in parallel.

      • show the localization of some of the same SNAREs at the apical annuli. Fu et al also see localization to the plasma membrane separate from the annuli for some of these proteins. Do you see plasma membrane spots as well upon longer exposures? Can differences be explained by the position or type of tag used?

      Authors’ response: Fu et al have indeed used different reporters and expressed the SNARE fusion proteins with different non-native promoters. They used a very bulky reporter which combined 12 HA tags as well as the large Auxin-Inducible Degron (AID), and together it is possible that they observe some mistargeting artefacts. For our location studies we used the small epitope 3xV5 only. We did not see the additional locations that they report, and this may be due to the larger modification that they made to these proteins.

      • Fu et al also shows similar plaque defects in the knockdowns and loss of trafficking of plasma membrane proteins to the periphery. In general, the studies from this group are very complementary - they should be better acknowledged.

      Authors’ response: We have included more frequent reference and comparison to the Fu et al study now in our Discussion.

      • Fu et al see an invasion defect but no defect in GRA secretion - Do you see an invasion defect? These differences should be discussed

      Authors’ response: See our response to Comments 2.1 & 2.13 regarding why the Fu et al could not detect the GRA secretion defect. We discuss this in our Discussion now (Discussion paragraph four). We also consider the Fu et al study of an invasion defect as flawed. Both our and their study show that depletion of apical annuli SNAREs has a strong replication phenotype of parasites within the host vacuole. Given induced SNARE depletion must occur during this growing stage of the parasites, to ask if apical annuli could be involved directly in invasion processes requires testing for invasion competence of already very sick cells. It is, therefore, not possible to control for secondary effects on invasion incompetence due to general cell malaise. Furthermore, Fu et al report on invasion efficiency using an assay that relies on SAG1 presentation on the cell surface. However, they conclude independently in their study that SAG1 delivery to the surface is inhibited in their SNARE knockdowns. This further confounds any attempt to reliable measure invasion and any role for these SNAREs in this process. Therefore, for biological as well as technical reasons, we have not tested for a possible role of annuli in invasion.

      • It would be helpful for the field to use the same nomenclature whenever possible. Is it possible to use the naming described earlier?

      Authors’ response: Please see our response to Comment 2.4.

      Comment 3.3

      Fig 1C - The authors use trypsin shaving to demonstrate plasma membrane localization of LMBD3. They are probably correct - but it is important to definitively distinguish between plasma membrane and IMC membrane localization. a. The western blot bands for GAP40 should be quantified. It appears that GAP40 is also reduced and it could be reduced to a similar extent as SAG1 without quantification. In addition, this protection from digestion could be confirmed with a second marker in the space between the PM and IMC membranes like GAP45 (whereas cytoplasmic/mito markers like profilin and Tom40 are likely further protected by the IMC membranes and are thus less relevant here).

      Authors’ response: Quantitation of Western blots is notoriously inaccurate and, rather, we use it here as a qualitative indication of trypsin sensitivity of proteins in intact cells. The LMBD3 protein is completely transformed within the first time point (1 hour) to stable products of proteolysis of this polytopic membrane protein — presumably to those now protected within the cell. Known GPI-anchored surface protein SAG1 shows similar immediate sensitivity, although it is known that internalised SAG1 pools are constantly recycled to the surface and hence gradual elimination of the residual SAG1 band over 4 hours. The internal protein markers (GAP40, PRF, TOM40) show no discernible change in the first hour and little if any beyond that (within the variation common to Western blotting). GAP40 shares an equivalent polytopic membrane topology to LMBD3 except it occurs in the IMC membrane directly below the plasma membrane, so we think this is the more suitable control. Thus, this trypsin shaving experiment gives a binary output: sensitive or insensitive. This conclusion is further supported by the published spatial proteomics study (Barylyuk et al. 2020) which shows that LMBD3 segregates with other integral membrane proteins specific to the plasma membrane and not with the IMC proteins. Our super resolution imaging of LMBD3 relative to inner membrane complex markers (Centrin2, GAP45, IMC1) also show it as peripheral to them, further corroborating the plasma membrane location.

      1. Is it possible to N-terminally tag LMBD3 and then examine plasma membrane localization by detection of the tag without permeabilization? (this would also confirm the proposed topology) Authors’ response: We have tried to N-terminally tag LMBD3 with an epitope reporter but this integration was not tolerated by the cell, presumable because it interferes with membrane insertion of this protein that is essential for cell viability. So, this experimental option is not available.

      Comment 3.4

      I think it is important to make clear for the reader what is happening here. The paper sounds as though the dense granules directly dock at the annuli for release. It also seems possible from this work and Fu et al that secretion at the annuli occurs via small vesicles that originate from the dense granules. Perhaps a diagram or model would help the reader here (and discuss why DGs or other vesicles are not routinely seen at the annuli if this is the critical portal - and perhaps why the organelles are not clustered in the apical end of the cell if this is where they are needed)

      Authors’ response: This comment is related to that of review 2 (Comments 2.8/12), although we note again that Fu et al did not conclude that dense granules are exocytosed at this site. It is also unclear why this reviewer envisages that small vesicles arise from the dense granules, rather than the dense granule itself fusing at the annuli to the plasma membrane. Indeed, the occurrence of Rab11A on the dense granules, and the accumulation of this protein at the annuli with SNARE knockdown, supports that it is the dense granules that dock at this site. Why dense granules don’t otherwise cluster at their sites of secretion but are instead motile in the cell, their movement driven by Myosin F on actin filaments, is not known. Perhaps these otherwise bulky organelles would create too much cellular crowding that could interfere with other processes. We have addressed all of these points in additions to the discussion so that these interesting unknowns are transparent to the reader (Discussion paragraph 5).

      Comment 3.5

      Figure 5. The authors state the knockdown results in "strong phenotypes of reduced plaque development" - The plaque assays should be quantified.

      • Are there no plaques or just very small ones here?

      Authors’ response: The reviewer provides no rationale for this request or states what questions could be addressed by doing so. Indeed, none of our conclusions would be affected. We use the plaque assays to test whether each of the proteins tested are independently necessary for some facet of normal parasite growth where the result is binary — no difference in plaque size versus near or complete absence of plaque development. The interpretation of differing plaque sizes between different knockdown mutations is a very inexact science with assumptions of equal rates of protein depletion, sensitivity of relative protein abundance, modes of action of mutation, and kinetics of plaque growth very difficult to validate for meaningful comparisons to be made. Therefore, we don’t see any useful role for plaque quantification in the research questions that we’ve addressed or the conclusions that we present.

      Comment 3.6

      Figure 6 a. Fig 6A - The use of digitonin for semipermeabilization requires controls as there is typically a lot of variability across the monolayer. This is ideally done with something to show that the host plasma membrane has been permeabilized (e.g. host tubulin) and the PVM has not been permeabilized (e.g. SAG1). Otherwise, perhaps the authors could state what percent of cells showed the data like the representative images shown or describe further how selective permeabilization was assessed? (or wider fields with many cells and vacuoles?)

      *Authors’ response: As requested, we have included a supplemental figure showing wider fields of view where multiple vacuoles are seen. These data show that the vacuoles are similarly stained with no evidence of variability of digitonin permeabilization. The reduction in GRA5 secretion shown by microscopy is further supported by this protein being quantified using proteomics as enriched in the parasites when the apical annuli proteins are depleted (Fig 7). *

      Comment 3.7

      1. Fig 6B - "the GRA signal seen within the parasite was increased compared to the control" This is not clear from the AAQb image shown as it appears more is also present in the vacuole (or perhaps residual body?) Can this be clarified? Authors’ response: Yes, in this image it appears that the ‘residual body’, which is also an integral internal compartment of the growing parasite rosette, is a site of dense granule accumulation. We have modified the text to make it clear that the observations of IFA images showing ‘apparent’ increase in dense granule staining were then directly tested by quantitative proteomics. These subsequent data (Fig 7) provided a clear measure of the increase in dense granule proteins in the parasites when apical annuli function was perturbed.

      Minor comments

      Comment 3.8

      1. Line 215-217 The authors state that "Collectively these data imply that the apical annuli provide coordinated gaps in the IMC barrier that forms at the earliest point of IMC development and that they maintain access of the cytosol to these specialised locations in the plasma membrane."
      2. However, their data shows that LMBD3 only recruits once daughters are emerging (not earliest point of IMC development). Please clarify? Is this just referring to Centrin2 or LMBD3 as well? Authors’ response: Yes, the other AAPs indicate that these structures form early, and they were mentioned as such in the sentences preceding this statement — hence ‘collectively’.

      Comment 3.9

      Fig 5. Regarding growth arrest. AAQa appears to show an arrest but is it possible the others just grow slower? Do they arrest later and hence fail to form a plaque? Is there incomplete knockdown which enables a few parasites to persist?

      *Authors’ response: It is true that it is difficult to discern complete growth arrest from *

      *very retarded growth. However, neither alternative would affect our conclusions where we use these phenotypes as an indication of apical annuli participating in process required for normal growth. All plaque assays show strong growth phenotypes. Nevertheless, we have removed the use of the term ‘growth arrest’ with respect to these phenotypes (including in the Abstract) and replaced it with growth impairment. *

      Comment 3.10

      Line 132, Fig 1 A-C. For clarity it may be better for the reader if LMBD3 is named earlier, or if Fig 1 refers to the gene ID for panels A-C before its named.

      Authors’ response: This is a good idea and we have made this change, making note of the rationale for this name when we present the phylogeny.

      Comment 3.11

      Line 30 - "represent a second structure in the IMC specialised for protein secretion" this is confusing - do the authors mean in addition to the micronemes/rhoptries at the apical complex? Maybe "a second structure in the parasite" would be clearer

      Authors’ response: To clarify we have reworded as follows: ‘The apical annuli, therefore, represent a second type of IMC-embedded structure to the apical complex that is specialised for protein secretion

      Comment 3.12

      Line 440 - the author states that "these pre- and post-invasion secretion processes are also biochemically separated because both microneme and rhoptry secretion are SNARE-independent" Is this from the Cova and Dubios papers cited a line later? I took a quick scan of these papers and neither appear to show this? Cova claims still this is still unclear and Dubios says SNAREs are likely involved?

      Authors’ response: While both microneme and rhoptry secretion use distinctive molecular machineries for controlling membrane fusion for exocytosis, it is true that it is not formally known that these processes completely lack SNARE involvement, and neither paper cited here can eliminate this possibility. We have therefore, removed this short part of the discussion where we consider that dense granules might be unique amongst these three compartments in relying on SNAREs.

      Text editing

      Comment 3.13

      1. Line 94 - plasma membrane or cell surface. Clarify here - do you mean plasma membrane or under the membrane at the periphery? Authors’ response: We have modified as: ‘plasma membrane including the cell surface’.

      Comment 3.14

      Line 321 refers to Fig 6A but should say 7A. Panel 7B is never referenced in the text.

      Authors’ response: Thank you, we have corrected this and only sited Fig7 because A and B are both relevant to the statement made in the text.

      Comment 3.15

      Line 347-242 and fig 4A - the discussion of Q-SNARES and diagram could use some references for the reader

      Authors’ response: Thank you for this suggestion, we have acted on this request.

      Comment 3.16

      The methods says plaque assays were 7 days, fig 5 legend says 8 days

      Authors’ response: Thank you, this is corrected as 8 days.

      **Referees cross-commenting**

      • I completely agree with Rev 2
      • I also think examining invasion given Rev1 comment on the micronemes and the data from Fu et al would be worthwhile and straightforward to do

      Authors’ response: Please see our response to Comment 3.2 where the validity of measuring invasion competence of poorly growing, and/or arrested, parasites is scientifically questionable. It would require controls of similarly unhealthy parasites where the apical annuli are unaffected, but it is difficult to imagine how one would deliver such a control.

      Reviewer #3 (Significance (Required)):

      This is an excellent study that assesses the role of apical annuli in parasite secretion. It is an important addition to the field (and outstanding imaging that provides a high level of detail to the study). The study could be improved by better integrating a recent similar study noted by the authors and in the review

      Authors’ response: We have provided more direct discussion of the Fu et al paper in our Discussion section.

    2. Note: This preprint has been reviewed by subject experts for Review Commons. Content has not been altered except for formatting.

      Learn more at Review Commons


      Referee #3

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      In the submitted work "Apical annuli are specialised sites of post-invasion secretion of dense granules in Toxoplasma", the authors explore the role of the apical annuli in T. gondii. They identify a number of proteins that localize to the membranes at the annuli, including SNARE proteins that are known players in vesicle fusion. They also shown that knockdown of several annuli localized proteins blocks replication and secretion of dense granule cargo into the parasitophorous vacuole. Overall, the work is well done and an important contribution to the field.

      Major comments

      1. In the title and throughout the manuscript the authors claim that the apical annuli are sites of dense granule secretion (e.g. "firmly implicating the apical annuli as the site of dense granule docking and membrane fusion." or "that the apical annuli are sites of vesicle fusion and exocytosis"). However, there does not appear to be direct evidence of the dense granules docking and fusing at these sites.

      It would be ideal to see vesicles docked via EM at the annuli, either in wildtype or knockdown parasites. This may not be possible - if not, I recommend toning down the conclusions on docking (or "specialized sites of secretion" as this has not been shown) and instead stating that these structures play a critical role in dense granule secretion.<br /> 2. The authors should discuss earlier (in the results) the findings of Fu et al. which: - show the localization of some of the same SNAREs at the apical annuli. Fu et al also see localization to the plasma membrane separate from the annuli for some of these proteins. Do you see plasma membrane spots as well upon longer exposures? Can differences be explained by the position or type of tag used? - Fu et al also shows similar plaque defects in the knockdowns and loss of trafficking of plasma membrane proteins to the periphery. In general, the studies from this group are very complementary - they should be better acknowledged. - Fu et al see an invasion defect but no defect in GRA secretion - Do you see an invasion defect? These differences should be discussed - It would be helpful for the field to use the same nomenclature whenever possible. Is it possible to use the naming described earlier? 3. Fig 1C - The authors use trypsin shaving to demonstrate plasma membrane localization of LMBD3. They are probably correct - but it is important to definitively distinguish between plasma membrane and IMC membrane localization. - a. The western blot bands for GAP40 should be quantified. It appears that GAP40 is also reduced and it could be reduced to a similar extent as SAG1 without quantification. In addition, this protection from digestion could be confirmed with a second marker in the space between the PM and IMC membranes like GAP45 (whereas cytoplasmic/mito markers like profilin and Tom40 are likely further protected by the IMC membranes and are thus less relevant here). - b. Is it possible to N-terminally tag LMBD3 and then examine plasma membrane localization by detection of the tag without permeabilization? (this would also confirm the proposed topology) 4. I think it is important to make clear for the reader what is happening here. The paper sounds as though the dense granules directly dock at the annuli for release. It also seems possible from this work and Fu et al that secretion at the annuli occurs via small vesicles that originate from the dense granules. Perhaps a diagram or model would help the reader here (and discuss why DGs or other vesicles are not routinely seen at the annuli if this is the critical portal - and perhaps why the organelles are not clustered in the apical end of the cell if this is where they are needed) 5. Figure 5. The authors state the knockdown results in "strong phenotypes of reduced plaque development" - The plaque assays should be quantified. - Are there no plaques or just very small ones here? 6. Figure 6

      a. Fig 6A - The use of digitonin for semipermeabilization requires controls as there is typically a lot of variability across the monolayer. This is ideally done with something to show that the host plasma membrane has been permeabilized (e.g. host tubulin) and the PVM has not been permeabilized (e.g. SAG1). Otherwise, perhaps the authors could state what percent of cells showed the data like the representative images shown or describe further how selective permeabilization was assessed? (or wider fields with many cells and vacuoles?)

      b. Fig 6B - "the GRA signal seen within the parasite was increased compared to the control" This is not clear from the AAQb image shown as it appears more is also present in the vacuole (or perhaps residual body?) Can this be clarified?

      Minor comments

      1. Line 215-217 The authors state that "Collectively these data imply that the apical annuli provide coordinated gaps in the IMC barrier that forms at the earliest point of IMC development and that they maintain access of the cytosol to these specialised locations in the plasma membrane."
      2. However, their data shows that LMBD3 only recruits once daughters are emerging (not earliest point of IMC development). Please clarify? Is this just referring to Centrin2 or LMBD3 as well?
      3. Fig 5. Regarding growth arrest. AAQa appears to show an arrest but is it possible the others just grow slower? Do they arrest later and hence fail to form a plaque? Is there incomplete knockdown which enables a few parasites to persist?
      4. Line 132, Fig 1 A-C. For clarity it may be better for the reader if LMBD3 is named earlier, or if Fig 1 refers to the gene ID for panels A-C before its named.
      5. Line 30 - "represent a second structure in the IMC specialised for protein secretion" this is confusing - do the authors mean in addition to the micronemes/rhoptries at the apical complex? Maybe "a second structure in the parasite" would be clearer
      6. Line 440 - the author states that "these pre- and post-invasion secretion processes are also biochemically separated because both microneme and rhoptry secretion are SNARE-independent" Is this from the Cova and Dubios papers cited a line later? I took a quick scan of these papers and neither appear to show this? Cova claims still this is still unclear and Dubios says SNAREs are likely involved?

      Text editing

      1. Line 94 - plasma membrane or cell surface. Clarify here - do you mean plasma membrane or under the membrane at the periphery?
      2. Line 321 refers to Fig 6A but should say 7A. Panel 7B is never referenced in the text.
      3. Line 347-242 and fig 4A - the discussion of Q-SNARES and diagram could use some references for the reader
      4. The methods says plaque assays were 7 days, fig 5 legend says 8 days

      Referees cross-commenting

      • I completely agree with Rev 2
      • I also think examining invasion given Rev1 comment on the micronemes and the data from Fu et al would be worthwhile and straightforward to do

      Significance

      This is an excellent study that assesses the role of apical annuli in parasite secretion. It is an important addition to the field (and outstanding imaging that provides a high level of detail to the study). The study could be improved by better integrating a recent similar study noted by the authors and in the review

    1. Note: This response was posted by the corresponding author to Review Commons. The content has not been altered except for formatting.

      Learn more at Review Commons


      Reply to the reviewers

      We have thoroughly revised the manuscript, taking into account all comments from all four reviewers. We have added new data (Supplemental Figure 2 and Supplemental Figure 4) in response to these comments.

      Reviewer 1

      The assessment of data reproducibility is currently uncertain due to the absence of replication and statistical analysis in the dataset. It is essential to provide explicit information regarding sample sizes or replicates for all data and figures, data should be presented as mean +/- SD/SEM, and the interpretation of results should be grounded in rigorous statistical analysis. The lack of experimental replicates and statistical analysis in most of the figures presented raises major concerns regarding the validity of the result.

      We have now added error bars for the graphs in Figure 3D, E, F, G, H; Figure 4 D, F, G, H, I, J; Figure 5 B, C, D, E, F, G; and Figure 6B, C, D. All GTPase assays have repeated three times. The mean ± S.D. (n = 3) is plotted for each condition. For high-speed pelleting assays, all assays have been conducted three times, and a representative assay is shown.

      Why was only one of the MiD proteins, specifically MiD49, studied, while MiD51 was not includedin the investigation?

      This is an excellent point. In our previous work (doi:10.1101/2023.07.31.551267), we found that MiD49 and MiD51 were strikingly similar in their abilities to activate Drp1 after their own activation with fatty acyl-CoA. We feel that the demonstration here with MiD49 suggests that a similar effect would occur with MiD51. Due to time constraints for the lead author, preparing more MiD51 protein was out of the scope of what could be done. We now add a line in the Discussion that results for MiD51 may be different.

      The author suggestion of Drp1 phosphorylation, based on the mobility of protein observed in SDS-PAGE gel (fig 4A, 5A, 6A), is not a sufficiently valid assessment. While western blot analysis is a valid method to assess Drp1 phosphorylation, it is essential to include replicates for semi-quantitation and demonstrate the reproducibility of the results. Moreover, it is recommended to incorporate Western blot analyses to provide additional support for the findings presented in Figures 5 and 6.

      • We agree with the reviewer that additional information on the phosphorylation state of these proteins should be provided. We now include phospho-proteomic analysis for Erk2 phosphorylation of WT Drp1 and Drp1-S600D (Supplemental Table 1), showing that S579 is by far the predominant phosphorylation site. For WT Drp1, three lines of evidence now suggest efficient Erk2 phosphorylation of S579:
      • Western blot using anti-phosphoS579
      • Phosphoproteomic analysis
      • Gel shift

      For the Drp1-S600D phosphorylation, we have phosphoproteomic and gel shift analysis. For isoform 6, we regrettably only have gel shift. However, given the fact that the effect of Erk2 treatment on actin-stimulated GTPase activity mimics what we found for WT-Drp1 and for Drp1-phosphoS579/S600D, we think it is highly likely that the equivalent phosphorylation (S629 in this case) has been affected.

      Data on phosphorylated peptides with replicates experiments should be presented.

      We now present these data, which have been significantly expanded since the initial submission (new Supplemental Table 1). While non-phophorylated S579 is still detected in both the WT and S600D phosphorylation reactions, the phosphorylated peptide is 2.2 and 2.3-fold more abundant, respectively. Our conclusion is that Erk2 efficiently phosphorylates S579, although stoichiometric phosphorylation was not obtained here. We have added statements in the relevant sections of the Result, and in the Methods. We have also added Supplemental Table 1 to show the spectral counts obtained from phospho-proteomic analysis, and have deposited the raw data files with the PRIDE consortium (access information in the Methods).

      Please provide additional context or specific details about the GFP-tagged Drp1 protein, such as the protein site where GFP was attached, as well as whether this tag could potentially impact the Drp1 GTPase activity and oligomerization. Figure 7C and D appear to suggest an increase in the GTPase activity of the GFP-Drp1 protein.

      We have now added these details to the Methods section, and have also added the complete amino acid sequence for the final purified construct in Supplemental Figure 4. We have also added that a previous study (PMID: 32901052) found that inclusion of GFP strongly inhibited Drp1 GTPase activity. We do not observe this effect here or in a previous study (PMID: 27559132), and provide possible reasons for this difference in the Methods. The reviewer points out that the activity of GFP-Drp1 appears higher than that of un-tagged Drp1 (comparing 7C with 7D). We find that the GTPase activity of Drp1 alone varies between 1 and 2 uM/min/uM protein depending on the preparation. This variation occurs for both untagged and GFP-tagged Drp1. This difference in basal activity from prep-to-prep might relate to differences between protein preparations, or exact amount of time required to freeze the aliquots of purified protein (we freeze small aliquots ( An optional experiment that would significantly enhance the biological relevance of the findings presented in the current study is to assess the morphology of mitochondria in cells expressing the phospho-mimetic mutant Drp1 proteins. This experiment would provide valuable insights into the functional consequences of Drp1 S579 and S600 phosphorylation on mitochondrial structure and dynamics.

      We fully agree that these would be valuable experiments. The issue is that a large number of experiments using phospho-mimetic mutants in cells have already been conducted, with varying results (Taguchi et al., 2007; Qi et al., 2011; Yu et al., 2011; Strack et al., 2013; Kashatus et al., 2015; Serasinghe et al., 2015; Xu et al., 2016; Brand et al., 2018; Han et al., 2020, Chang and Blackstone, 2007; Cribbs and Strack, 2007; Cereghetti et al., 2008; Wikstrom et al., 2013, Han et al., 2008,Wang et al., 2012 Jhun BS, Sheu, 2018, J Physiol). To conduct more targeted tests examining specific forms of Drp1 activation in cells (for example, through Mff, MiD proteins, actin, or cardiolipin) will require extensive work that is outside the scope here. Our feeling is that S579 phosphorylation is likely to recruit another molecule (probably a protein) that has an activating effect. We tried to test one possibility (NME3, mentioned in the Discussion) but failed to produce useable NME3 protein for these tests and, given time constraints for the lead author, could not address this further.

      Provide reference for method on actin polymerization.

      We have now added a reference in the ‘Actin preparation for biochemical assays’ section of the Methods (PMID 16472659).

      Rectify the error in referencing figure 3 panels within the figure legends of Supplemental Fig S1.

      Thank you, we have changed this.

      The inclusion of full length isoform 6 is commendable. However, there is no mentioned of isoform6 in the method section.

      Thank you for pointing this out. We have added description of the construct and referenced our previous paper that used it.

      Since papers deposited in bioRxiv have not undergone peer review, reference #7 should not becited as references in scholarly work.

      Reference 7 has so far been reviewed by a peer-review journal. e are addressing reviewers’ concerns and will re-submit soon. We do not know how to rectify the issue of referencing this work, because it describes an extensive amount of groundwork for the MiD proteins. Our hope is that this work will be in press by the time the work reviewed here is ready for publication.

      Please provide details about the calculation of GTPase activity and the distinctions between the specific GTPase activity and total GTPase activity shown in figure 8D-F.

      We now describe these calculations in the “GTPase assay” section of the Methods.

      Reviewer 2

      Overall, the experiments described here are carried out with rigor and the conclusions drawn are of significance to understanding how phosphorylation regulates Drp1 functions.

      Thank you for these kind comments!

      Phosphorylation of both the serine residues appears to elicit a common effect in that they inhibitDrp1's stimulated GTPase activity. This would suggest that phosphorylation affects Drp1's self-assembly as tightly packed helical scaffolds. Instead of sedimentation analysis, an EM analysis of helical scaffolds on cardiolipin-containing membrane nanotubes or in the presence of soluble adaptors causing Drp1 to form filaments would provide a direct readout for defects in self-assembly.

      This is an excellent point, and we would love to conduct this work. Given our current EM infrastructure and expertise, these experiments would take extensive time for us to do. We do have a collaborator who could carry these out, but feel that the time it would take even for them to do this correctly is beyond that which we have (the lead author is transitioning to their next career phase). We have added the point that further EM studies of this type are necessary to test the effect on Drp1 assembly more directly.

      I am not sure of the rationale for experiments reported in Fig. 7 and 8. If the idea was to test if hetero oligomerization with WT Drp1 rescues defects associated with phosphorylated Drp1 then this could be stated explicitly in the manuscript. GFP-Drp1 is used as a WT mimic but a previous report (PMID: 30531964) indicates that this construct is severely defective in stimulated GTPase assays, much like the K38A mutant. But the rationale of using these constructs is not quite apparent. Is the intention to test if defects seen in the phospho-mimetic mutants of Drp1 can be rescued by the presence of a 'seed' of WT Drp1. If so, then this could be stated explicitly in the manuscript. But regardless, I am not quite sure what this data set achieves in terms of addressing mechanism.

      We apologize for not being clearer in our explanation of these experiments. Our goal was to test the effects of partial Drp1 phosphorylation on overall Drp1 activity, which likely mimics more accurately the cellular situation (wherein only a portion of the Drp1 population is likely to be phosphorylated even upon kinase activation). We now discuss these experiments in a clearer manner. For the GFP-Drp1, we do not observe the effect on GTPase activity shown in that previous manuscript by another laboratory, either here or in previous studies (eg, PMID: 27559132). In the Methods, we now provide a discussion of these differences and possible reasons for them, as well as providing the complete amino acid sequence of our GFP-fusion construct in Supplemental Figure 4.

      Finally, it would have been nice to see if the phospho-mimetic mutants of Drp1 produce the same effects on mitochondrial structure as those reported earlier. Reanalyzing their effects in a cellular assay becomes important because it would consolidate this work for the readers to evaluate the'true' effects of phosphorylation on Drp1 functions. If the phospho-mimetic mutants fare in a manner like those previously reported, then it signifies that stimulation in GTPase activity is not a readout that directly correlates with Drp1 functions. If not, then the results presented here would establish a comprehensive analysis of in vitro biochemical activities and in vivo functions of the phospho-mimetic mutants.

      We fully agree that these would be valuable experiments. The issue is that a large number of experiments using phospho-mimetic mutants in cells have already been conducted, with varying results (Taguchi et al., 2007; Qi et al., 2011; Yu et al., 2011; Strack et al., 2013; Kashatus et al., 2015; Serasinghe et al., 2015; Xu et al., 2016; Brand et al., 2018; Han et al., 2020, Chang and Blackstone, 2007; Cribbs and Strack, 2007; Cereghetti et al., 2008; Wikstrom et al., 2013, Han et al., 2008,Wang et al., 2012 Jhun BS, Sheu, 2018, J Physiol). To conduct more targeted tests examining specific forms of Drp1 activation in cells (for example, through Mff, MiD proteins, actin, or cardiolipin) will require extensive work that is outside the scope here. Our feeling is that S579 phosphorylation is likely to recruit another molecule (probably a protein) that has an activating effect. We tried to test one possibility (NME3, mentioned in the Discussion) but failed to produce useable NME3 protein for these tests and, given time constraints for the lead author, could not address this further.

      Previous work reports that the effect of actin on the GTPase activity of Drp1 is biphasic but the binding to actin is not. This is quite confounding, and the authors could perhaps explain why this is the case.

      The reviewer makes an excellent point, which we now explain further in the manuscript. We have also discussed this in doi:10.1101/2023.07.31.551267 (see Figure 2D in that work). Our interpretation is that it is the density of Drp1 bound to the actin that provides the activation, by positioning the GTPase domains in close proximity. As the amount of actin increases, the Drp1 becomes more dispersed on the filaments, and activation decreases. We observe the same effect for MiD49 and MiD51 oligomers (see the above-mentioned reference).

      The manuscript cites PMID: 23798729 for expression analysis of slice variants but PMID:29853636 provides a more compressive analysis. The authors could cite this work.

      Thank you for this reference. We were unaware of it, but are very glad to know of it now. We now include this reference. In particular, in the legend to Figure 1C (table of splice variants), we now state that this table is for human Drp1, and that additional splice variants have been identified for murine Drp1 (PMID 29853636).

      Reviewer 3

      The splendid results of the manuscript willbe interesting to the researchers in the related fields.

      Thank you for this nice comment!

      The manuscript provided well-organized biochemistry results for comparisons between phosphorylation of Drp1 S579 and S600. It is the reviewer's comments that the authors may include experiments that manipulate Drp1 phosphorylation at different amino acids in cells. Such experiments will provide strong support for this manuscript.

      • We fully agree that these would be valuable experiments. The issue is that a large number of experiments using phospho-mimetic mutants in cells have already been conducted (Taguchi et al., 2007; Qi et al., 2011; Yu et al., 2011; Strack et al., 2013; Kashatus et al., 2015; Serasinghe et al., 2015; Xu et al., 2016; Brand et al., 2018; Han et al., 2020, Chang and Blackstone, 2007; Cribbs and Strack, 2007; Cereghetti et al., 2008; Wikstrom et al., 2013, Han et al., 2008,Wang et al., 2012 Jhun BS, Sheu, 2018, J Physiol). To conduct more targeted tests examining specific forms of Drp1 activation in cells (for example, through Mff, MiD proteins, actin, or cardiolipin) will require extensive work that is outside the scope here. Our feeling is that S579 phosphorylation is likely to recruit another molecule (probably a protein) that has an activating effect. We tried to test one possibility (NME3, mentioned in the Discussion) but failed to produce useable NME3 protein for these tests and, given time constraints for the lead author, could not address this further.

        The authors discussed the known factors that involved in Drp1 activation, such as its receptors, actin and cardiolipin. Recent JCB paper (J. Cell Biol. 2023 Vol. 222 No. 10 e202303147) indicates that intermembrane space protein Mdi1/Atg44 may play a role in coordinating mitochondria fission with Dnm1 (Drp1 in yeast cells). It will be valuable if the manuscript could also discuss the potential factor.

      • Thank you for this comment. We now include Mdi1/Atg44 as a possible factor that might be influenced by Drp1 phosphorylation. Two points we would like to make here are: there doesn’t seem to be an Mdi1 homologue in mammals, so the equivalent factor must be identified before testing; and Mdi1 is an inter-membrane space protein, so any effect of Drp1 phosphorylation on coordinated functioning with Mdi1 would either require an intermediary factor or exposure of the IMS in some way.

        Keywords cannot represent the manuscript. It is recommended that the authors use other words to for the current manuscript.

      We have removed K38A from this list. The other key words are not mentioned in the Abstract.

      Reviewer 4

      The authors showed that the binding of Drp1 to actin depends on salt concentrations (Fig. 2Band C). In the presence of 65 mM NaCl, the phosphomimetic mutants showed decreased binding to actin. The GTPase assay is performed with 65 mM KCl, in which actin did not stimulate GTP hydrolysis of the phosphomimetic mutants. In contrast, with 140 mM NaCl, the S579D Drp1 exhibits slightly enhanced actin binding compared to WT Drp1. Could the authors assess the actin-activated GTPase activity in the 140 mM salt condition to test if actin activates GTP hydrolysis ofS579D Drp1 more potently than WT?

      This is a good point by the reviewer. However, with limited time for the first author, we chose to focus on the reviewer’s other comments (see below).

      Both phosphomimetic mutants show reduced activation for GTP hydrolysis in the presence of cardiolipin, Mff, and MiD49. Is this because the mutants have a lower affinity for these interactors? Or do they bind with the same affinity but experience diminished activation? The data suggests the latter scenario, potentially resulting from decreased oligomerization properties. Can the authors provide more insights on this, for example, by measuring their interaction in the presence of GMP- PCP, which fully induces oligomerization in all three forms of Drp1?

      • These are interesting ideas, and we conducted experiments similar to what the reviewer described: co-sedimentation experiments with combinations of Drp1 and Mff under three nucleotide states: no nucleotide, GMP-PCP, and GTP. We used Mff for these experiments because we have this protein in abundance, and have previously characterized this construct as a trimer in PMID 34347505. We use a high concentration of Mff (50 mM) versus Drp1 (1.3 mM) because of the relatively low affinity between the two proteins (shown in PMID 34347505). We find the following:
      • In the absence of nucleotide, Mff does not cause an increase in pelletable Drp1 for any of the Drp1 constructs.
      • In the GTP state, the presence of Mff greatly increases the amount of Drp1 in the pellet, suggestive of increased Drp1 oligomerization. This effect occurs for all Drp1 constructs (WT, S579D and S600D mutants), but the amounts of both Drp1 and Mff in the pellets are about 50% less for both mutants than for the WT construct. This result suggests a decrease in oligomerization for the mutants, but not necessarily a decrease in Mff binding.

      I'm curious what happens to oligomerization if GTP is added instead of nonhydrolyzable GMP-PCP (Fig. 1D). Does this lead to higher oligomerization in the mutants compared to WT since the mutants seem to have lower GTPase activity? This might explain why phosphorylation increases mitochondrial localization of Drp1 in cells seen in some studies.

      This is another interesting thought, and we describe the new experiments we conducted in the response to the previous comment. Essentially, while GTP does cause a slight increase in pelletable Drp1, the increase is somewhat similar for all constructs. As described in the last comment, the addition of Mff causes a substantial increase in pelletable Drp1 for both WT and the mutants. This result suggests that, while the basal oligomeric state of Drp1 (in the absence of nucleotide) is reduced for the mutants (our original analytical ultracentrifugation data), the mutants appear to be capable of responding to GTP and Mff in a similar manner to WT. We acknowledge that the assay used here (pelleting) lacks the precision required to draw detailed conclusions on oligomerization or interaction with Mff, and we try to reflect this in our discussion of the data. We do feel, however, that these data are useful to report, in guiding future study.

      Please include the number of experimental repeats and error bars where applicable.

      We have now added number of experimental repeats and error bars for the graphs in Figure 3D, E, F, G, H; Figure 4 D, F, G, H, I, J; Figure 5 B, C, D, E, F, G; and Figure 6B, C, D.

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      Referee #1

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      Summary

      The present study aims to delineate the effect of S579 and S600 phosphorylation on Drp1 oligomerisation and GTPase activity. Using phospho-mimetic mutant Drp1 proteins, in conjunction with GTPase activity and phosphorylation assays, as well as size exclusion chromatography, the authors conclude that phosphorylation of residue S579 does not activate Drp1 directly. Notably, the authors did not perform cell-based assays to assess mitochondrial fission. The abstract concludes by stating, "our results suggest that nearest neighbour interactions within the Drp1 oligomer affect catalytic activity". However, this assertion appears to lack clarity and direct support from the presented results. Further clarification or evidence linking the observed data to this conclusion would enhance the overall comprehensibility and validity of the study's findings.

      Major comments

      • The assessment of data reproducibility is currently uncertain due to the absence of replication and statistical analysis in the dataset. It is essential to provide explicit information regarding sample sizes or replicates for all data and figures, data should be presented as mean +/- SD/SEM, and the interpretation of results should be grounded in rigorous statistical analysis. The lack of experimental replicates and statistical analysis in most of the figures presented raises major concerns regarding the validity of the result.
      • Why was only one of the MiD proteins, specifically MiD49, studied, while MiD51 was not included in the investigation?
      • The author suggestion of Drp1 phosphorylation, based on the mobility of protein observed in SDS-PAGE gel (fig 4A, 5A, 6A), is not a sufficiently valid assessment. While western blot analysis is a valid method to assess Drp1 phosphorylation, it is essential to include replicates for semi-quantitation and demonstrate the reproducibility of the results. Moreover, it is recommended to incorporate Western blot analyses to provide additional support for the findings presented in Figures 5 and 6.
      • Data on phosphorylated peptides with replicates experiments should be presented.
      • Please provide additional context or specific details about the GFP-tagged Drp1 protein, such as the protein site where GFP was attached, as well as whether this tag could potentially impact the Drp1 GTPase activity and oligomerisation. Figure 7C and D appear to suggest an increase in the GTPase activity of the GFP-Drp1 protein.
      • An optional experiment that would significantly enhance the biological relevance of the findings presented in the current study is to assess the morphology of mitochondria in cells expressing the phospho-mimetic mutant Drp1 proteins. This experiment would provide valuable insights into the functional consequences of Drp1 S579 and S600 phosphorylation on mitochondrial structure and dynamics.

      Minor comments

      • Provide reference for method on actin polymerisation.
      • Rectify the error in referencing figure 3 panels within the figure legends of Supplemental Fig S1.
      • The inclusion of full length isoform 6 is commendable. However, there is no mentioned of isoform 6 in the method section.
      • Since papers deposited in bioRxiv have not undergone peer review, reference #7 should not be cited as references in scholarly work.
      • Please provide details about the calculation of GTPase activity and the distinctions between the specific GTPase activity and total GTPase activity shown in figure 8D-F.

      Significance

      The current investigation holds promise for advancing our understanding of the impact of post-translational modifications, specifically those occurring at the S579 and S600 sites, on Drp1 activity. Nevertheless, the absence of experimental replication and comprehensive statistical analysis introduces notable concerns regarding the credibility and replicability of the findings.

      Audience: Basic research that focus on mitochondrial morphology and Drp1 biology.

      I lack expertise in velocity analytical ultracentrifugation and, as a result, am unable to provide an assessment regarding the validity and accuracy of the assay.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      1. General Statements

      We thank the reviewers for their time and both thoughtful and constructive comments. Their specific points are addressed below but a general point that we would like to comment on is that in the original version it appears we did not make our model clear enough. The dogma in the field is that Rab7 is recruited to endosomes from a cytosolic pool via exchange with Rab5 (mediated by Mon1/Ccz1). Our work instead indicates that the majority of Rab7 is delivered to Dictyostelium phagosomes by fusion with other endocytic compartments. It was not our intention to imply there was no canonical recruitment of Rab7 from a cytosolic pool, and indeed we provide data to show this happens at a low level and discuss this in the manuscript. Nonetheless, we clearly over-stated the exclusivity of Rab7 recruitment to phagosomes via fusion at several points and our original model cartoon, and have tried to better explain or more nuanced model with multiple routes for Rab7 acquisition in this revision, including a completely redrawn model figure (Fig. 7).

      2. Description of the planned revisions

      Reviewer 1:

      1. The observation that macropinosomes undergo retrograde fusion with newly formed phagosomes to facilitate phagosome maturation is an interesting notion that challenges the traditional model. However, not all phagocytes exhibit a high level of macropinocytosis, and axenic Dictyostelium cells used in the study may be an exception. Thus, it remains unclear whether fusion with macropinosomes is universally required for phagosome maturation. WT Dictyostelium cells or axenic cells cultured under SorMC/Ka condition (Paschke et al., PLoS One, 2018) exhibit significantly reduced macropinocytosis. The authors could examine whether the accumulation of Rab7 and V-ATPase on large-sized phagosomes is delayed in these cells. These experiments may help broaden the applicability of the authors’ finding.

      As our previous work (Buckley et al. PloS pathogens 2019) demonstrated that bacterially-grown PIKfyve mutants are also defective in bacterial killing and growth it is highly likely that cells also are defective in V-ATPase and Rab7 acquisition. However, we agree that formally testing this will further support our conclusions and improve the paper and should be quite straightforward.

      We will therefore co-express GFP-V-ATPase and RFP-Rab7 in both Ax2 and non-axenic cells grown on bacteria and repeat our analysis of recruitment to phagosomes – with the caveat that non-axenic cells do not phagocytose large particles such as yeast (Bloomfield et al. eLife 2015), so the imaging and quantification will be more challenging in this case.

      PIKfyve seems to play a specific role in the maturation of phagosomes but not macropinosomes. The differences may be driven by signaling from phagocytic receptors, as the author suggested. Alternatively, the large size of the yeast-containing phagosomes may require additional steps for efficient lysosomal delivery. The authors should consider examining whether PIKfyve is needed for the delivery of Rab7 and V-ATPase to phagosomes of comparable size to regular macropinosomes, such as those containing K. aerogenes or small beads. In addition, whether the process also involves fusion between phagosomes and macropinosomes should be verified.

      Whilst it is possible that large size of yeast-containing phagosomes requires additional mechanisms to process them, our previous data demonstrate that PIKfyve is also required to kill much smaller bacteria such as Klebsiella and Legionella (Buckley et al. PloS pathogens 2019). Furthermore, in this paper we also showed that loss of PIKfyve disrupts phagosomal proteolysis using 3um beads, and showed that V-ATPase recruitment was reduced on purified phagosomes containing 1um beads. We therefore find consistent defects on phagosomes of different size, with different cargos. Nonetheless, the experiments above, observing V-ATPase and Rab7 in cells grown on bacteria should directly address this point.

      As suggested, we will also perform a dextran pulse-chase prior to addition of bacteria to test if we can observe macropinocytic delivery to bacteria-containing phagosomes - perhaps using E. coli as their elongated shape may help phagosome visualisation.

      In the previous study from the authors' group (Buckley et al., PLoS Pathog, 2019), it was shown that the accumulation of V-ATPase on phagosomes begins immediately after internalization in both PIKfyve mutant and WT, although V-ATPase accumulation reaches only half of the levels seen in WT. This partial accumulation of V-ATPase differs from the almost complete absence of Rab7 recruitment found in this study, which raises the question of whether there exists yet another population of fusogenic vesicles that are positive for V-ATPase but negative for Rab7. This could be checked by simultaneously examining the dynamics of V-ATPase and Rab7 during yeast phagocytosis in the PIKfyve mutant.

      We agree with the referee that there are multiple pools of V-ATPase, and we show that there is both a very early PIKfyve-independent recruitment of both V-ATPase and Rab7 as well as a later and more substantial pool delivered in a PIKfyve-dependent manner. It is clear that V-ATPase and Rab7 do not always co-localise however - the clearest example being on the contractile vacuole, which has lots of V-ATPase but no Rab7 (the large bright magenta structure in Fig 2G.).

      We suspect that the dramatically reduced, but not completely absent levels of both V-ATPase and Rab7 recruitment in the absence of PIKfyve are similar, but the challenges with imaging these very small low levels means we cannot formally exclude that there is a pool of V-ATPase vesicles that lack Rab7 which fuse to very early phagosomes. Nonetheless, as we will already be looking at V-ATPase and Rab7 in PIKfyve KO's in the experiments above will also attempt to unequivocally differentiate a pool of V-ATPase positive/Rab7 negative vesicles fusing with phagosomes.

      Reviewer 2:

      (1) The authors show that deletion of PIKfyve results "in an almost complete block in Rab7 delivery to phagosomes" (page 17) indicating that the delivery of Rab7 depends on fusion with Rab7-positive structures. This would suggest that the Rab7-GEF Mon1-Ccz1 is not localized to the membrane of the phagosomes. Could the authors test for the presence of Mon1-Ccz1 in either fluorescence microscopy experiments or on purified phagosomes to exclude the possibility of a "canonical" Rab7 recruitment by its GEF? If the GEF is found on phagosomal membranes it would indicate that a Rab-transition from Rab5 to Rab7 occurs on the phagosome during maturation, but on a low level. The later fusion event might be a homotypic fusion of two Rab7-positive compartments. The observed fusion events could still deliver the bulk of Rab7 and other endolysosomal proteins to the phagosome. If the Rab7-GEF is not found on phagosomes how do the authors envision that the organelle keeps its identity? Is it solely dependent on PI(3,5)P2? What is the fate of the Rab7-negative phagosome in ∆PIKfyve cells if Rab7 is not delivered to the membrane, is there degradation happening over longer periods of time?

      This is an excellent suggestion, for which we thank the reviewer. Mon1 and Ccz1 are highly conserved, with clear Dictyostelium orthologues that have never been studied. Our model is that there is a small proportion of Rab7 driven by this canonical pathway so would expect Ccz1/Mon1 to coincide with loss of Rab5 and be unaffected by loss of PIKfyve - although subsequent Rab7 delivery would be lost. This is easy to test by cloning and expressing GFP-fusions of both Ccz1 and Mon1 and would be highly informative. Note we do not exclude canonical Rab7 recruitment in our model (see discussion), our data just indicate this has a minor contribution.

      Reviewer 3:

      The focus is on their manuscript is loading of Rab7 on phagosomes, but there's no indication about Rab7 activation (GTP-loading). Would the RILP-C33 probe work in Dictyostelium? If not possible, the activation state of Rab7 should still be discussed. Despite Rab7 on other organelles in PIKfyve-inhibited cells, is this active or not?

      The GTP-loading status of Rab7 is a good question, although the general dogma is that membrane-localised Rabs are active. We will try the RILP-C33 probe in Dictystelium as suggested, but as these cells lack an endogenous RILP orthologue there is a high chance it will not work. Sadly, reliable tools to asses active Rab status are a general limitation for the field, so if the RILP-C33 probe does not work we will add this caveat to the discussion.

      The authors need to better address the confusing kinetics of early Rab7 recruitment, followed by SnxA (Fig. 4G, same for VatM - Fig. 4I ) - which is counterintuitive if PIKfyve activity is required to recruit Rab7. How do the authors explain this? Are phagosomes prevented from acquiring Rab7 in PIKfyve deficient cells because of a defect on phagosomes or the endo-lysosomes loaded with Rab7 (but not active).

      We believe this again relates to the over-simplification of our model. Our data indicate both PIKfyve dependent and independent Rab7 recruitment. In contrast to the abrupt recruitment of SnxA at ~120 seconds (Vines et al. JCB 2023), both Rab7 and VatM accumulate gradually over time starting from almost immediately following engulfment (Buckley et al. 2019, and Figure 2F). Our data indicate that the first stage of this is PIKfyve independent, and is responsible for ~10% of the total Rab7/V-ATPase accumulation by both the imaging in this paper, and Western blot for V-ATPase on purified phagosomes in Buckley et al. PLoS pathogens 2019. The arrival of some Rab7/V-ATPase prior to PI(3,5)P2 therefore supports our model where there are multiple sources of Rab7.

      As the reviewer quite rightly points out, interpretation of the defects observed in the absence of PIKfyve becomes complex and we cannot completely differentiate between a defect on the phagosome, or the Rab7 compartments that fuse with them (or indeed both). In fact, we already note that small Rab7 compartments that we observe in wild-type cells are much more sparse in PIKfyve mutants. Therefore whilst the requirement for PI(3,5)P2 in the clustering and fusion of macropinosomes with phagosomes is clear, additional effects on the PI(3,5)P2-independent Rab7 compartments cannot be excluded.

      The experiments above using the RILP-C33 active Rab7 biosensor as well as observation of the Mon1/Ccz complex should further clarify this, but we will also add further discussion of these points.

      3. Description of the revisions that have already been incorporated in the transferred manuscript

      Reviewer 1:

      Minor comments.

      1. It is unclear how the experiment in Figure 3G was conducted. If microscopic analysis was involved, the corresponding images should be included.

      We apologise that we overlooked this and have now added a full description in the materials and methods (P8 L16-21). Fluorescence measurements were performed using a plate reader, so there are no images.

      Page 11-Line 2, the sentence "there was no obvious clustering around the nascent phagosome (Figure 2D)." It is Figure 2E, not Figure 2D.

      Corrected.

      There is an inconsistency regarding the description of fluorescent fusion proteins. For example, both GFP (RFP)-2xFyve and 2xFyve-GFP (RFP), as well as GFP-Rab5 and Rab5-GFP, were used. Typically, placing GFP (or RFP) before a gene suggests N-terminal tagging, while placing it after the gene implies C-terminal tagging. The authors should clarify the position of the fluorescent tag and ensure consistency in their descriptions.

      We apologise for this oversight, and have been through and corrected all fusion protein references accordingly.

      One of the videos was not referred in the manuscript or described in the Video legends. This video seems to correspond to Figure 5A, albeit with a different pseudo-color scheme.

      This has been corrected. Video 7 does correspond to Fig 5A, and we have corrected the colour scheme to match and added references to the video in the text and figure legend.

      Reviewer 2:

      (2) In their abstract, the authors state that they "...delineate multiple subpopulations of Rab7-positive endosomes that fuse sequentially with phagosomes" (page 2, line 14,15). However, the data provides only evidence for V-ATPase or PI(3,5) P2-containing structures and the authors conclude to my understanding that macropinosomes are the main source for vesicular structures fusing with phagosomes. I would ask the authors to please be clear on the identity of the "Rab7-donor"-structures throughout the manuscript. Saying that they delineate multiple subpopulations of endosomes seems to be overstated.

      We identify that macropinosomes are one source (subpopulation) of Rab7/PI(3,5)P2 vesicles but our data clearly show that they are the only source of Rab7 - there is clearly an additional early Rab positive / PI(3,5)P2-negative subpopulation of vesicles that cluster and fuse too at earlier stages. For example, in Figure 4F we co-express Rab7a/SnxA and show that whilst all the SnxA vesicles also contain Rab7 (and dextran), there is a clear separate population of small and early-fusing population of Rab7-containing vesicles that do not possess PI(3,5)P2. This is further validated in Figure 5B and C. To our mind this clearly demonstrates and defines different Rab7 endosomal populations, although we do not yet know the origins of the initial Rab7-positive/PI(3,5)P2 negative population - as discussed in our response to their point (3) below.

      Minor points:

      (1) The sentence "...which both deactivates and dissociates Rab5, and recruits and activates Rab7 on endosomes" is at least problematic as it suggests that Mon1-Ccz1 directly drives GTP-hydrolysis of Rab5 and dissociates it from the membrane. Indeed, Mon1-Ccz1 is shown to interfere with the positive feedback loop of the Rab5-GEF by interacting with Rabex (Poteryaev et al., 2010), so a rather indirect effect of Mon1-Ccz1. A GAP and the GDI are needed for Rab5 deactivation and dissociation from the membrane. How both are involved in the endosomal Rab-conversion is not clarified.

      We have changed the text to better represent this complexity (P4 L4-6)

      (2) Signals of RFP-labeled proteins are difficult to interpret throughout the experiments. What are the structures that show a strong accumulation of red signal in Fig. 1A,B, Fig 2G and Fig4A (20sec.) If these are fluorescently labeled proteins it would suggest that most of the proteins cluster/accumulate in the cell. Can the authors provide better images?

      We appreciate that some of these reporters with multiple localisations can be difficult to interpret. This is major challenge for these sort of studies and main reason we use the large and easily-identified yeast containing phagosomes for quantification. In Fig. 1 the large structure is the large peri-nuclear cluster of Rab5 previously reported (Tu et al. JCB 2022). In Fig. 2G the bright structure is the recruitment of V-ATPase on the CV. Both these large structures easily distinguished from the phagosomal pool we are interested in. Whilst we would love to provide better images, this is simply not possible - both these other structures are unavoidable and we are already using some of the best microscopy methods available. We have however clarified the additional localisations seen in these images in the revised figure legends.

      (3) On page 11 the authors state "...macropinosomes in ∆PIKfyve cells still appeared much larger. Quantification of their size and fluorescence intensity demonstrated that although macropinosomes started off the same size,...". This statement is not reflected in the data depicted in Fig. 3A,B. The size of the single labeled macropinosome appears to be larger in wildtype than in ∆PIKfyve cells from the beginning on. However, the quantification in Fig 3F is clear. So, are these bad examples in 3A,B, are they swapped or is this due to the additional expression of GFP-Rab7A? Could you please comment on the effect that the (over-)expression of GFP-tagged Rab-GTPases might have on the observations described in this paper in the discussion part?

      As you can see from the error bars in Figure 3F, macropinosomes are extremely variable in size - ranging from ~0.2-5 microns in size in axenic Dicytostelium. The image in Figure 3B is therefore indicative of this heterogeneity, rather than being a "bad example". This is why we designed the experiment to quantify several hundred vesicles in order to make any conclusions - as well as doing it in the absence of any GFP-fusion expression.

      Although we have not noticed any issues (enlarged vesicles are also clear in GFP-Rab7 expressing cells in Figure 1B), we do of course accept that GFP-Rab7 expression itself may have some detrimental effects on maturation and this is why we quantified macropinosome size in untransformed cells. We have clarified this in the results section (P12 L28).

      (4) In Fig. 6E it is hard to distinguish if the dextran is accumulating inside the phagosome. I would suggest conducting a 3D reconstruction of these images to allow judging if macropinosomes fused with the phagosomes or if they cluster around the neck of the phagosome.

      This would be nice, but not possible as these images are from single confocal sections, rather than a complete high-resolution Z-stack. We have however added an enlargement of both Figure 6D and E which we feel now more clearly shows the presence of dextran within the bounding PI(3)P membrane of the phagosome.

      (5) In the discussion, the authors state that the small pool of "PIKfyve-independent Rab7" is "insufficient to for subsequent fusion with other Rab7A-positive compartments, further Rab7 enrichment, and lysosomal fusion." What is the rationale for this conclusion? Is it shown how many Rabs are necessary to induce a tethering and fusion event? It would be good to revise this part of the discussion also in respect of the first major point of my comments above.

      Our data show that in the absence of PIKfyve, phagosomes still remove Rab5 and gain a small pool of Rab7 but progress no further. This is consistent with some block in the HOPS-mediated homotypic fusion of Rab7 compartments. However, we accept that this is not necessarily due to simply not having enough Rab's so have rephrased the discussion accordingly.

      (6) The intention of the paragraph about phagosomal ion channels is for this reviewer somehow out of context. It is not clear to me how the authors relate this to their findings. It would be could to bring this into a broader context.

      __ __We mention ion channels in the background as they represent the main class of PI(3,5)P2 effectors known so far. We feel this is important background context, even if our studies do not directly relate to this.

      Reviewer 3:

      Their disclosure and use of statistics is incomplete and/or inconsistent, and potentially wrong in some cases. For example, the authors disclose the number biological repeats in a few experiments (Fig. 3C, F) but not in the majority. Instead, they state the number of phagosomes without indicating biological repeats (eg. Fig. 2 and others). So, it is not possible to know if their data are reproducible. Despite not indicating independent experiments in some cases, they speak of SEM, which applies to mean of means from biological repeats. In other cases, none of this is disclosed (eg Fig. 3G). Often there is no indication of what statistical test was done OR if a statistical test was done (eg. Fig. 3G, Fig. 4, etc). I would recommend the authors review the excellent resource paper published in JCB on SuperPlots to better follow statistical expectations. This is essential to improve reproducibility and confidence in their observations.

      We apologise if this was unclear for the referee, but we have tried to be clear in each case. The confusion likely lies in the definition of a biological repeat, which depends on the type of experiment. For quantification of phagocytic events over time, we feel it reasonable to take each individual event (each from an individual organism) as a biological repeat. This is because events are relatively rare and taken from multiple different movies, and it is not technically possible to film both mutants and controls simultaneously. In all these sort of experiments (e.g. Figure 2) we have shown standard deviation, which indicates the reproducibility between phagocytic events. We have clarified that these events are from movies obtained on at least 3 independent days in the methods.

      In other cases, such as Figure 3C and F and Figures 5-6, we are able to take measurements across multiple cells simultaneously at each timepoint. It is therefore appropriate to average over multiple independent experimental repeats rather than individual cells. We have therefore used SEM in our analysis, and both the number of individual cells and independent repeats are stated on the graphs and legend. This was incomplete in a few cases but has now been clarified in all cases.

      Regarding statistical tests, which ones were used now been clarified in each figure legend. Note that in Fig 3G, we do not apply any test as both lines essentially overlap and it is clear there would not be any convincing differences. In Figure 4, the graphs all compare co-expression of different reporters rather than different mutants or conditions and are from single events. We therefore feel statistical tests are unnecessary and inappropriate. Comparison of the same reporters between strains averaged across multiple events, with statistical analysis is shown in Fig 2 instead. All these points have now been added to the statistics section of the methods (P9 L1-6)

      Minor Comments

      It is interesting that 2FYVE-GFP stays on phagosomes for 50 min or more - this is distinct from macrophages. Please comment. Have the authors tried other PI(3)P probes to see if the same (PX-GFP).

      We have not used other probes but we have no reason to believe 2xFYVE does not behave as predicted as it is the same probe used for most macrophage studies (FYVE domain from human Hrs), and gets removed from macropinosomes exactly as expected. We did not originally comment in this manuscript but PI3P dynamics are even more interesting as our previous data indicate that latex-bead containing phagosomes lose PI3P after 10 minutes (Buckley et al 2019, Figure 4F-G) This indicates phagosome maturation can be regulated by the cargo (under further investigation). Importantly however, both bead and yeast-containing phagosomes have comparable defects in the absence of PIKfyve. This is more fully discussed in our previous paper (Vines et al. JCB 2023) where we characterise PI(3)P and PI(3,5)P2 dynamics in more detail.

      Fig. 7 model: the macropinosome in the diagram seems like a dead end as depicted - is there any arrow or change that could be added to show that it doesn't just sit there in the middle? Also, the light green on yellow hurts the eyes!

      We apologise, there was actually supposed to be an arrow there but it was lost somewhere in the drafting process. The whole figure has now been updated to more clearly describe our full and more complex model.

      Fig. 3F, could be converted to volume assuming macropinosomes are spheres.

      This is true, however as these images are taken from single planes we cannot know where in the sphere the slices are and therefore what the maximum diameter would be. We therefore prefer to keep it as area so as not to confuse and over-interpret the data.

      Pg. 10, line 10 - Vps34 is Class III PI3K, not Class II.

      Corrected.

      4. Description of analyses that authors prefer not to carry out

      Please include a point-by-point response explaining why some of the requested data or additional analyses might not be necessary or cannot be provided within the scope of a revision. This can be due to time or resource limitations or in case of disagreement about the necessity of such additional data given the scope of the study. Please leave empty if not applicable.

      • *

      Reviewer 2:

      (3) ("OPTIONAL") Optionally, the authors could also try to clarify these structures' identity by including further colocalization studies with additional early and late endosomal marker proteins. Are they for example positive for early or late endosomal markers like EEA1, ESCRT or Retromer? How about organelle-specific SNAREs? This would give further insights into the character of the "Rab7-donor" structures and would allow to clarify if multiple subpopulations are contributing to phagosome maturation in a sequential order as stated in the abstract. As I am not an expert on Dictyostellium I can`t estimate the effort that would go into such an experimental setup. However, since the time scale of the events in the cell is nicely worked out in this study, these colocalization studies would not need to be conducted as live-cell microscopy experiments.

      This is a sensible suggestion that would in theory help define these populations. However many of these markers are poorly defined with respect to phagosomes and/or Dictyostelium. Dictyostelium does not posses an EEA orthologue, but our data also indicate that these vesicles do not possess PI3P so cannot be canonical early endosomes. We have previously characterised WASH/retromer and whilst it is recruited to phagosomes at around the time of Rab5/7 transition Retromer appears to be recruited from the cytosol and drive recycling rather than being delivered on endosomes that fuse (see King et al. PNAS 2016). We have also previously looked at ESCRT (Lopez-Jimenez et al. PLoS Pathogens 2018) which also does not appear to have any recruitment to early phagosomes that would be consistent with a Rab7-sub-population. The SNAREs are yet to be studied in any detail, as they are often too divergent to assign a direct mammalian orthologue.

      Therefore, whilst this is a sensible suggestion, and something we would like to follow up in the future, this is not straight-forward and we feel outside the scope of the current study. We have however included additional discussion of this in the revised manuscript (P20 L21-26).

      Reviewer 3:

      Major Comments:

      1. Based on the current data, I am not entirely convinced that Rab7 is delivered mostly by fusion with other compartments. At least the data as provided cannot exclude other models. For example, Rab7-containing organelles that cluster with phagosomes may form contact sites that provide a local environment to load cytosolic Rab7. There's also a possibility that some of their Rab7 clusters are membrane sub-domains and not vesicles. Or perhaps, there is a first wave of cytosolic Rab7 recruitment, which then initiates fusion with Rab7 compartments, i.e., there is a two-phase Rab7 recruitment. While this last possibility is consistent with recruitment of Rab7 by fusion (the second phase), the authors present a model that is too simplistic and conclusive based on the data. The authors may be right, but they need to strengthen their evidence towards their claim. Maybe EM could help determine some of these issues. Perhaps better would be the use of FRAP, photo-activation, or optigenetics of Rab7. For example, if Rab7 is acquired on phagosomes after photobleaching clusters of Rab7, this would suggest a cytosolic Rab7 contribution, and if not, this would support their model. I recognize that these experiments are not necessarily trivial, but either the authors augment their data (as suggested or with other approaches) or significantly pare down their conclusions.

      We agree with the Referee that we cannot completely exclude other models, and as we talk about in the discussion, we do not wish to do so. We apologise if the role of fusion was over-stated but the model we propose is as the referee suggests: there is likely an early first wave of canonical Rab7 recruitment from the cytosol that is independent of PIKfyve before the majority of Rab7 is subsequently delivered by fusion in a PIKfyve-dependent manner. Our data indicate that the second wave is both quantitively and functionally more significant (see functional data in Buckley et al. 2019).

      We do however agree with the referee that we cannot formally exclude things such as contact-site mediated recruitment from the cytosol or sub-domains but not fusion however there is no data to support these either. In contrast, the hypothetical clustered Rab7 contacts/subdomains often (but not always) contain the transmembrane V-ATPase complex (Figure 2G) which must be delivered by fusion.

      However we do not wish to over-simplify our conclusions and as we state in the discussion, we do think there is probably a small amount of Rab7 recruited from the cytosol by the canonical pathway. We accept that our cartoon in Figure 7 is over-focussed on fusion so we have substantially revised this, as well as the discussion to give a more balanced and complex view.

      Regarding the proposed experiments, unfortunately, the imaging required to acquire these movies is already at the very limit of what is possible so we do not believe it would be technically feasible to employ methods such as FRAP and optogenetics on these relatively fast-moving phagosomes with the temporal resolution required. Furthermore, to differentiate recruitment from a cytosolic pool, every GFP-Rab7 cluster would need to be photobleached, which could not be reliably achieved.

      However, this point will be largely addressed by the suggestion of Reviewer 2 to look at the Mon1/Ccz complex. The presence or absence of this will give strong evidence for canonical Rab5/7 transition and Rab7 recruitment from the cytosol which would significantly clarify our model and define the two different mechanisms of Rab7 recruitment to phagosomes.

      Early macropinosomes fuse with early phagosomes more readily than 10-min old macropinosomes. Do 10-min old macropinosomes not fuse with older phagosomes? Is this not an issue of mismatched age?

      This is an interesting point that we have clarified in the text. We agree with reviewer that it appears the ages of the macropinosomes and phagosomes must match but our data indicate this only occurs when both parties possess PI(3,5)P2 as macropinosome fusions appears to happen in a single burst at about 240 seconds (Figure 6F) rather than as a continuous process. We also do not start to see any fusion of these older macropinosomes when the phagosomes get past the initial first 10 minutes of maturation (Figure 6G).

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      Referee #1

      Evidence, reproducibility and clarity

      PIKfyve/Fab1, a kinase responsible for phosphorylating PI3P to produce PI(3,5)P2, regulates phagosome maturation across various organisms. A previous work from the authors' group demonstrated that disrupting PIKfyve in Dictyostelium inhibits the delivery of V-ATPase and hydrolase, thus dramatically reducing the ability of cells to acidify newly formed phagosomes and digest their contents. The current manuscript further dissects the function of PIKfyve and PI(3,5)P2. Using live cell imaging, the authors show that nascent phagosomes acquire Rab7 by fusion with multiple populations of Rab7-positive vesicles, and the loss of PIKfyve abolishes this event. One of these fusogenic vesicle populations was identified as PI(3,5)P2-positive macropinosomes, which dock and fuse with phagosomes in a PIKfyve-dependent manner. Based on these findings, the authors propose that PIKfyve contributes to phagosome maturation by promoting heterotypic fusion between phagosomes and macropinosomes, which help deliver regulatory components necessary for phagosome acidification and digestion. This study provides fresh insights into the process of phagosome maturation. The work was well designed, performed and presented, and the manuscript is clearly written. However, there are several questions that should be addressed to strengthen the conclusions of the manuscript.

      Major points:

      1. The observation that macropinosomes undergo retrograde fusion with newly formed phagosomes to facilitate phagosome maturation is an interesting notion that challenges the traditional model. However, not all phagocytes exhibit a high level of macropinocytosis, and axenic Dictyostelium cells used in the study may be an exception. Thus, it remains unclear whether fusion with macropinosomes is universally required for phagosome maturation. WT Dictyostelium cells or axenic cells cultured under SorMC/Ka condition (Paschke et al., PLoS One, 2018) exhibit significantly reduced macropinocytosis. The authors could examine whether the accumulation of Rab7 and V-ATPase on large-sized phagosomes is delayed in these cells. These experiments may help broaden the applicability of the authors' finding.
      2. PIKfyve seems to play a specific role in the maturation of phagosomes but not macropinosomes. The differences may be driven by signaling from phagocytic receptors, as the author suggested. Alternatively, the large size of the yeast-containing phagosomes may require additional steps for efficient lysosomal delivery. The authors should consider examining whether PIKfyve is needed for the delivery of Rab7 and V-ATPase to phagosomes of comparable size to regular macropinosomes, such as those containing K. aerogenes or small beads. In addition, whether the process also involves fusion between phagosomes and macropinosomes should be verified.
      3. In the previous study from the authors' group (Buckley et al., PLoS Pathog, 2019), it was shown that the accumulation of V-ATPase on phagosomes begins immediately after internalization in both PIKfyve mutant and WT, although V-ATPase accumulation reaches only half of the levels seen in WT. This partial accumulation of V-ATPase differs from the almost complete absence of Rab7 recruitment found in this study, which raises the question of whether there exists yet another population of fusogenic vesicles that are positive for V-ATPase but negative for Rab7. This could be checked by simultaneously examining the dynamics of V-ATPase and Rab7 during yeast phagocytosis in the PIKfyve mutant.

      Minor points:

      1. It is unclear how the experiment in Figure 3G was conducted. If microscopic analysis was involved, the corresponding images should be included.
      2. Page 11-Line 2, the sentence "there was no obvious clustering around the nascent phagosome (Figure 2D)." It is Figure 2E, not Figure 2D.
      3. There is an inconsistency regarding the description of fluorescent fusion proteins. For example, both GFP (RFP)-2xFyve and 2xFyve-GFP (RFP), as well as GFP-Rab5 and Rab5-GFP, were used. Typically, placing GFP (or RFP) before a gene suggests N-terminal tagging, while placing it after the gene implies C-terminal tagging. The authors should clarify the position of the fluorescent tag and ensure consistency in their descriptions.
      4. One of the videos was not referred in the manuscript or described in the Video legends. This video seems to correspond to Figure 5A, albeit with a different pseudo-color scheme.

      Significance

      Disruption of PIKfyve results in severe defects in phagosomal maturation across different organisms, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study demonstrates that PIKfyve plays a specific role in phagosome maturation by promoting heterotypic fusion between macropinosomes and newly formed phagosomes. These fusion events provide a means for the rapid delivery of lysosomal components to early phagosomes. The study challenges the conventional model of phagosome maturation and provides novel insights into the complex dynamics involved. Nonetheless, further investigations are needed to elucidate the exact role of PIKfyve/PI(3,5)P2 in regulating vesicle fusion and to explore whether the proposed model can be applied to other endocytic pathways or cell types.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      Review Commons - Revision Plan

      Manuscript number: RC-2023-02228

      Corresponding author(s): Gatfield, David

      1. General Statements

      We are grateful to the three Reviewers for their detailed assessment of our manuscript and are delighted about their very constructive and positive evaluations, highlighting the study’s novelty and rigor.

      Briefly, the main points raised by Reviewers 1 and 3 do not involve additional experiments and are mostly about rethinking manuscript structure (e.g. moving data/analyses to the supplement or removing them altogether, as they distract from the main thrust of the story) and making the text overall less dense and more readable.

      Reviewer 3 also raises a number of additional interesting points that we should discuss in our manuscript, which would allow us placing our findings more effectively into the context of the existing literature.

      All these points are very well taken and will be implemented (see below, under 2).

      Reviewer 2 is overall also rather positive – speaking of “a very careful and detailed study that addresses an important issue” and the study being “really rigorous and the logic […] very well explained”; moreover, this Reviewer also shares the view of both other Reviewers that parts of the manuscript (i.e., in particular its beginning) should be shortened.

      Importantly, this Reviewer remarks in addition under “Significance”: “Without additional mechanistic insights suggesting that there is something particular different about the regulation of these mRNAs the manuscript is not of extremely high significance.” – an important point of criticism that we wish to address in our revision, as detailed below.

      2. Description of the planned revisions

      In the following, we detail how we plan to address the points raised by the Reviewers. The order in which we treat the points follows their – in our view – relative importance according to the Reviewers’ feedback. In particular the first item below, under (A), is the main point of criticism that we feel we should address carefully for the future revised version.

      (A) Major point raised by Reviewer 2: “However, the study falls short on addressing the mechanism of this regulation and if it is different of other feeding regulated mRNA oscillations. This diminishes the significance of the study unless additional mechanistic details are provided.” , which is cross-commented both by Reviewer 1: “More importantly, clues to the mechanism (e.g. iron, heme) regulating the rhythmic translation of IRP1 and IRP2 IRE-mRNAs in liver would increase the significance of the work.” as well as by Reviewer 3: “Reading the comment from Reviewer #2 over the lack of a mechanism to explain why only four transcripts with IREs amongst a larger pool are subject to circadian regulation by IRPs somehow reduces the significance of the study, one has to agree that a discovery - likely another component in the system - is wanting. I remain of the view that the present work exposes this "weakness" of the entire field in a global as opposed to a partial manner and in doing so, makes a significant contribution, especially by further sub-classifying the IRE-containing transcripts according to their responsiveness in the diurnal occupancy of their IREs.”

      Our response and revision plan: Indeed, in the original version of our manuscript we established the link to feeding, yet we did not pinpoint the precise molecular cue that could underlie the rhythmic regulation observed on certain IRE-containing mRNAs. We did discuss the molecular candidates quite extensively in the Discussion section of the manuscript (Fe2+; oxygen; reactive oxygen species), and it remains quite obviously the main question whether the observed diurnal control could be mediated directly by changes in intracellular iron availability.

      Of note, the preprint by Bennett et al., for which we cite the initial biorXiv version in our manuscript, was updated very recently (https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.05.07.539729 – see version submitted December 18, 2023). It now includes new data that analyses around-the-clock iron levels also in liver. Briefly, the preprint shows, first, that serum iron is rhythmic with a peak during the dark phase at ZT16 (Figure 1D in Bennett et al.) yet loses rhythmicity when feeding is restricted to the light phase (Bennett et al., Figure 2E), indicating both feeding-dependence and circadian gating. Moreover, liver total non-heme iron – quantified using a method that measures both ferrous Fe(II) and ferric Fe(III) – shows low-amplitude diurnal variations which, however, do not meet the threshold for rhythmicity significance (Bennett et al., Figure 3G). Still, the difference between timepoints ZT4 (lower iron; light phase) and ZT16 (higher iron; dark phase) is reported as significant, with a fold-change that is not very pronounced (not compatible with the observed direction of regulation of Tfrc mRNA, whose higher abundance in the dark phase would rather be in line with lower *cytoplasmic iron levels, as pointed out by the authors.

      Thus, at first sight the analyses by Bennett et al. would appear to answer part of the Reviewer’s question and point towards other mechanisms of regulation than iron levels themselves. However, it should be pointed out that the particular methodology for iron measurements used by the authors includes the use of reducing reagents and hence quantifies the sum of Fe2+ and Fe3+ iron. Large amounts of iron are stored in the liver in the form of ferritin-bound Fe3+, yet the bioactive, low-complexity iron that is considered relevant for IRP regulation is in the Fe2+ form. Therefore, the question whether bioactive ferrous iron levels follow a daily rhythm, compatible with the observed IRP/IRE rhythms described in our manuscript, still remains an open question and warrants a dedicated set of experiments that we are proposing to conduct in response to the Reviewers’ comments.

      Briefly, for the revision we propose to use liver pieces from the two relevant timepoints of our study (i.e., ZT5 and ZT12) and apply a method that allows the separate quantification of Fe2+ and Fe3+ (Abcam iron assay ab83366; this assay can be adapted to liver iron measurements, see e.g. PMID31610175, Fig. 4A). This experiment will provide novel and decisive data on the molecular mechanism that may regulate the IRP/IRE system in a rhythmic fashion and therefore add to the significance of our findings, as requested by the reviewers.

      Moreover, we believe that the outcome of the experiment would be very interesting either way, i.e. if we find rhythms in Fe2+ that are compatible with rhythmic IRP/IRE regulation, we would be able to provide excellent evidence in term of likely molecular mechanism and rhythmicity cue. If, by contrast, we find that Fe2+ is not rhythmic, it will point towards a mechanism that is distinct from simple Fe2+ concentrations.

      In the latter case, collecting additional evidence on relevant alternative molecular cues would be beyond our capabilities for this particular manuscript, as it would require quite sophisticated methodological setup and preparation. For example, one could imagine that measuring around-the-clock liver oxygen levels in vivo – another candidate cue – would be highly interesting, yet we would not be able to conduct these experiments in a reasonable time frame (to start with, we would first need to request ethics authorisation from the Swiss veterinary authorities, which would in itself take ca. 4-6 months before we could even start an experiment). Thus, in the case of non-rhythmic iron levels, we would leave the question of other responsible cues open, but still think that with a balanced discussion of the resulting hypotheses we could provide significant added value to our work.

      (B) Major comment raised by Reviewer 1: “Alas2 is expressed mainly in erythroid cells and not liver, whereas Alas1 is ubiquitously expressed. Therefore, it is possible that Alas2 in this study may originate from red cells/reticulocytes in the liver, and not from hepatocytes.”

      Our response and revision plan: We would like to thank the Reviewer for the comment that is indeed pertinent. It is well established that Alas1 is the main transcript encoding delta-aminolevulinate synthase activity in hepatocytes, and Alas2 is about 10-fold less abundant in total liver RNA-seq data (quantified form own RNA-seq data, not shown).

      We are nevertheless relatively sure that the Alas2 signal comes from low expression in hepatocytes; the best argument in support of this hypothesis is the analysis of single-cell RNA-seq data, as shown in the following Revision Plan Figure 1, which we would be happy to include in a revised version of the manuscript if the reviewers wish:

      (C) Minor comment raised by Reviewer 1: “The paper is dense and not easy to read. For example, the section on Tfrc regulation and NMD regulation is lengthy and perhaps not necessary for the paper and the section on "Previous observations in IRE-IRP regulation...." could be included in the discussion rather in than in the Results section. Some figures could be included in a supplement.” continued in Referee cross-commenting “I agree with Reviewer 2 that the first sections in the manuscript are lengthy and not needed.”; moreover, Reviewer 2: “Also, the manuscript first sections (which mainly describe negative results) seem too long and descriptive.”

      Our response and revision plan: We shall reorganize the paper accordingly, with the aim of making it an easier, shorter, clearer read. Many thanks for the input.


      (D) Minor comment raised by Reviewer 1: “A description of the new anti-IREB2 antibody is needed. What IRP2 sequence was used to generate antibodies?”

      Our response and revision plan: The following information will be included in the manuscript: “Rat monoclonal antibodies against ACO1/IRP1 and IREB2/IRP2 were generated at the Antibodies Core Facility of the DKFZ. Briefly, full-length murine ACO1/IRP1 and IREB2/IRP2 proteins, fused to a poly-histidine tag, were expressed in E. coli and purified on Ni-NTA columns using standard protocols. Purified His-tagged proteins were used to immunize rats and generate hybridomas. Hybridoma supernatants were first screened by ELISA against His-tagged ACO1/IRP1 and His-tagged IREB2/IRP2. As an additional control, supernatants were tested against full-length His-tagged murine ACO2 (mitochondrial aconitase), which shares 27 and 26% identity with ACO1/IRP1 and IREB2/IRP2, respectively. Supernatants reacting specifically with ACO1 or IREB2 were validated by western blotting using extracts from wild-type versus ACO1- or IREB2-null mice.”

      (E) Minor comment raised by Reviewer 1: “A model summarizing the data would be useful.”

      • *Our response and revision plan: Thank you for the suggestion – this will be done.

      (F) “Optional” idea raised by Reviewer 3: “One nuance in the field of circadian biology is that a rhythm is deemed to be genuinely "circadian" when it continues in the absence of zeitgebers. In this sense, although all experiments are valuable, the "collapse" of the rhythm in the paradigms where dietary rhythms have been disrupted makes the phenomenology a candidate "epiphenomenon" rather than being closer related to the biological clock(s). Likewise, in the manuscript we never learn how the liver IRE-binding activity behaves in constant darkness.”

      Our response and revision plan: This is an important aspect that we can clarify more specifically in our manuscript. It is true that constant (darkness) conditions are used to call a phenomenon circadian. We would nevertheless argue that for a rhythmic feature that is specifically found in liver, the constant darkness definition to distinguish circadian from non-circadian is not fully valid because even in constant darkness, the liver clocks are not in a free-running state but continue to be entrained by the SCN clock (it is only the latter that is free-running under these conditions).

      In our manuscript, we actually suggest that the observed rhythms are not a core output of the circadian machinery (Fig. 6 of our manuscript), but indirectly engendered through feeding rhythms, which are coupled to sleep-wake cycles and thus connect in an indirect way to the central circadian clock activity in the SCN.

      In wild-type mice we would therefore expect that irrespective of constant darkness or light-dark entrainment (and assuming ad libitum feeding), the hepatic rhythms of the relevant IRE-containing transcripts would persist in a similar fashion.

      (G) “Optional” idea raised by Reviewer 3: “Where the authors mention in a parenthesis "moreover, there are documented links between iron and the circadian timekeeping mechanism itself", I invite them to take a closer look to the paper Konstantinos Mandilaras and I coauthored in 2012 "Genes for iron metabolism influence circadian rhythms in Drosophila melanogaster". In that work, we showed that RNA interference of genes that are required for iron sulfur cluster formation (including on IRP1) in the central clock neurons of the fly result in loss of the circadian rhythm when flies were kept at constant darkness (not so when they were kept under light:dark oscillation). So this point should probably remain open..”

      Our response and revision plan: We would like to thank the Reviewer for pointing out this interesting connection that would fit well into the context of our manuscript. It should be cited in the context of our current Figure 3, where we measure in vivo and in tissue explants whether IRP-deficiency affects the clock itself.

      To follow Reviewer 3’s idea, we have gone a little further in our analyses of around-the-clock expression data to see if any of the components of the Fe-S assembly machinery is rhythmic itself, which could have the potential to add novel information.

      Briefly, we have used for this purpose our around-the-clock RNA-seq and ribo-seq data from PMID 26486724. In summary, we find that the expression at RNA and/or footprint level is non-rhythmic for the vast majority of genes involved in FeS biogenesis, assembly or transport, with the exception of low-amplitude rhythms for Glrx5 and Iba57 (Revision Plan Figure 2).

      By contrast, all of the following other genes are non-rhythmic throughout (list of Fe-S-relevant genes from PMID34660592): Cytoplasmic/nuclear, all non-rhythmic: Cfd1=Nubp2, Nbp35=Nubp1 , Ciapin1, Ndor1, Iop1=Ciao3=Narfl, Ciao1, Ciao2b=Fam96b, Mms19, Ciao2a=Fam96a; mitochondrial, all non-rhythmic: Iscu, Nfs1, Isd11=Lyrm4, Acpm=Ndufab1, Fdx1, Fdx2=Fdx1l, Fxn, Hspa9 Hsc20=Hscb, Abcb7, Alr=Gfer, Isca1, Isca2, Nfu1

      As these are mainly “negative results”, and as we are also unable to propose a solid possible mechanistic connection between the Glrx5 and/or Iba57 rhythms and the rest of the story of our manuscript, we do not intend to include such data in our manuscript, but are only putting it for the record into this rebuttal.

      3. Description of the revisions that have already been incorporated in the transferred manuscript

      NONE

      4. Description of analyses that authors prefer not to carry out

      NONE – we think we can address all points as described above.

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      Reply to the reviewers

      We would like to thank our reviewers for their constructive criticism and for their appreciation and enthusiasm for our study. Some reviewers expressed opposing views, particularly when it came to the function and identity of the Cdt1-related protein in Toxoplasma gondii. To avoid redundancy in our response, we would like to make a brief statement. Toxoplasma gondii and other apicomplexan parasites utilize unique and highly unusual modes of cell division; numerous studies suggest that multiple phases can run concurrently in apicomplexan cell cycles. The best-known examples include the asynchronous S/M cycles in schizogony and concurrent mitosis and budding in Toxoplasma endodyogeny. These overlapping phases are not a feature exclusive to apicomplexans, since in budding yeast, cytokinesis initiates in G1 phase by marking the location of budding on the surface of the mother. Based on years of previous research and from our experience, we adjusted our approach by focusing on the processes that are associated with each cell cycle phase rather than on their temporal order. While the model of a conventional cell cycle guides our studies, we “follow the breadcrumbs” that we discover and the published studies to create a more accurate model of apicomplexan cell cycle instead of relying on the traditional cell cycle map employed by distantly related eukaryotes. Below are point-to-point responses to reviewers’ comments.

      Reviewer #1 (Evidence, reproducibility and clarity (Required)):

      Summary: Hawkins et al. employ a reverse genetic approach to analyze the molecular function of the Toxoplasma gondii kinase Crk4 and the Toxoplasma gondii cyclin 4. The authors combine inducible depletion with imaging, (phospho-)proteomics, molecular modeling, and protein-protein interaction studies.

      Major comments: - The major conclusion of the manuscript is that TgCrk4/TgCyc4 regulate entry into mitosis and that the primary role of TgCrk4 is to suppress DNA re-replication and chromosome re-duplication (lines 105-106). The authors also provide evidence that TgCrk4 interacts with TgCdt1, a DNA licensing factor ("TgCdt1" is missing in line 107). (had been corrected) By sequence homology, the authors found homologues of TgCrk4 only in apicomplexan parasites with binary division and concluded that the dominant division mode, presumably schizogony, is repressed in these organisms in favor of binary division. Indeed, internal budding and daughter cell formation is defective in the inducible depletion mutants of TgCrk4 and most experiments focus on this developmental stage. However, the analysis of preceding events, such as DNA replication is rather brief. If G2 is indeed regulated by TgCrk4/TgCyc4, one would assume that the parasites are post-S phase and the nucleus contains two copies of the genome, as indicated in Fig. 2C. The data shown in Fig. 3H and 7A, however, show that the TgCrk4 and TgCTD1 depletion induces a developmental arrest pre-S phase. This contradicts the main conclusions of the manuscript.

      *We agree that the G2 location is odd for a conventional cell cycle model. Given the high possibility that cell cycle phases can overlap in apicomplexans, we determined the relative position of G2 phase in Toxoplasma endodyogeny by instead focusing solely on the processes that are attributed to a specific cell cycle phase (such as DNA replication for S phase, DNA re-replication for G2 phase, DNA segregation for mitosis). Our approach shows that Toxoplasma G2/M checkpoint operates upstream of SAC, which led to enrichment of parasites with replicated DNA (Fig. 3H and Fig. 7A), which places G2 at the end of S-phase. Our focus in the present study is on the G2 functions,