The C. elegans zyg-1 gene encodes a regulator of centrosome duplication with distinct maternal and paternal roles in the embryo

Cell. 2001 May 18;105(4):547-58. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(01)00338-5.


Centrosome duplication is a critical step in assembly of the bipolar mitotic spindle, but the molecular mechanisms regulating this process during the cell cycle and during animal development are poorly understood. Here, we report that the zyg-1 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans is an essential regulator of centrosome duplication. ZYG-1 is a protein kinase specifically required for daughter centriole formation that localizes transiently to centrosomes and acts at least one cell cycle prior to each spindle assembly event. In the embryo, ZYG-1 participates in a unique regulatory scheme whereby paternal ZYG-1 regulates duplication and bipolar spindle assembly during the first cell cycle, and maternal ZYG-1 regulates these processes thereafter. ZYG-1 is therefore a key molecular component of the centrosome/centriole duplication process.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Centrioles / enzymology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Fertilization / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spindle Apparatus / enzymology


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • zyg-1 protein, C elegans

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF285179