Centrosome maturation

Curr Top Dev Biol. 2000;49:449-70. doi: 10.1016/s0070-2153(99)49021-0.


In the past, centrosome maturation has been described as the change in microtubule nucleation potential that occurs as cells pass through specific phases of the cell cycle. It is suggested that the idea of centrosome maturation be expanded to include gain of functions that are not necessarily related to microtubule nucleation. Some of these functions could be transient and dependent on the temporary association of molecules with the centrosome as cells progress through the cell cycle. Thus, the centrosome may best be viewed as a site for mediating macromolecular interactions, perhaps as a central processing station within the cell. The centromatrix, a relatively stable lattice of polymers within the centrosome's PCM, could serve as a scaffold for the transient binding of mediator molecules, as well as allow the dynamic exchange of centrosome constituents with a soluble cytoplasmic pool. New evidence adds support to the idea that centrioles are crucial for the maintenance of PCM structure. However, significant evidence indicates that aspects of centrosome structure and function can be maintained in the absence of centrioles. In the case of paternal centrosome maturation, sperm centrioles may not contain an associated centromatrix. It is proposed that regulation of paternal centrioles or centriole associated proteins could mediate centriole-dependent centromatrix assembly following fertilization. Thus, regulation of centromatrix-centriole interactions could be involved in maintaining the integrity of the centrosome's PCM and play an important role in centrosome disassembly during cell differentiation and morphogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Centrosome* / physiology
  • Centrosome* / ultrastructure
  • Humans