A subset of centrosomal proteins are arranged in a tubular conformation that is reproduced during centrosome duplication

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2000 Sep;47(1):13-24. doi: 10.1002/1097-0169(200009)47:1<13::AID-CM2>3.0.CO;2-C.


The centrosome plays a fundamental role in organizing the interphase cytoskeleton and the mitotic spindle, and its protein complexity is modulated to support these functions. The centrosome must also duplicate itself once during each cell cycle, thus ensuring the formation of a bipolar spindle and its continuity through successive cell divisions. In this study, we have used a battery of antibodies directed against centrosomal components to study the general organization of the centrosome during the cell cycle and during the centrosome duplication process. We demonstrate that a subset of centrosomal proteins are arranged together to form a tubular pattern within the centrosome. The tubular conformation defined by these proteins has a polarity and is closed at one end. The centriole complement of the centrosome is normally placed near this end. We show that the "wall" of the tube is enriched in proteins such as CDC2, ninein, and pericentrin as well as gamma-tubulin. In addition, a subset of gamma-tubulin is localized to the "lumen" of the tube. We also demonstrate, for the first time, that antibody staining can be used to detect centrosome duplication allowing the identification of duplication intermediates. We show that one product of centrosome duplication is the replication of the tubular structure found within the centrosome. The position of the centriole duplexes prior to and during centrosome duplication is documented and a model of the morphogenesis of the centrosome during the duplication process is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / analysis
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / analysis
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Cycle
  • Centrioles / chemistry*
  • Centrioles / ultrastructure
  • Centrosome / chemistry*
  • Centrosome / immunology
  • Centrosome / ultrastructure
  • Cricetinae
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Tubulin / analysis


  • Antigens
  • Autoantibodies
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • NIN protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Tubulin
  • pericentrin
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase
  • GTP-Binding Proteins