Although the centrosome was first described over 100 years ago, we still know relatively little of the molecular mechanisms responsible for its functions. Recently, members of a novel family of centrosomal proteins have been identified in a wide variety of organisms. The transforming acidic coiled-coil-containing (TACC) proteins all appear to play important roles in cell division and cellular organisation in both embryonic and somatic systems. These closely related molecules have been implicated in microtubule stabilisation, acentrosomal spindle assembly, translational regulation, haematopoietic development and cancer progression. In this review, I summarise what we already know of this protein family and will use the TACC proteins to illustrate the many facets that centrosomes have developed during the course of evolution.
Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.