Centrosome aberrations in hematological malignancies

Cell Biol Int. 2005 May;29(5):375-83. doi: 10.1016/j.cellbi.2005.03.004.


As the primary microtubule organizing center of most eukaryotic cells, centrosomes play a fundamental role in proper formation of the mitotic spindle and subsequent chromosome separation. Normally, the single centrosome of a G1 cell duplicates precisely once prior to mitosis in a process that is intimately linked to the cell division cycle via cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) 2 activity that couples centrosome duplication to the onset of DNA replication at the G1/S transition. Accurate control of centrosome duplication is critical for symmetric mitotic spindle formation and thereby contributes to the maintenance of genome integrity. Numerical and structural centrosome abnormalities are hallmarks of almost all solid tumors and have been implicated in the generation of multipolar mitoses and chromosomal instability. In addition to solid neoplasias, centrosome aberrations have recently been described in several different hematological malignancies like acute myeloid leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes, Hodgkin's as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemias and multiple myelomas. In analogy to many solid tumors a correlation between centrosome abnormalities on the one hand and karyotype aberrations as well as clinical aggressiveness on the other hand seems to exist in myeloid malignancies, chronic lymphocytic leukemias and at least some types of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of centrosome aberrations are just beginning to be unraveled. In general, two models with distinct functional consequences can be envisioned. First, centrosome aberrations can arise as a consequence of abortive mitotic events and impaired cytokinesis. Second, evidence has been provided that centrosome amplification can also precede genomic instability and arise in normal, diploid cells. Accordingly, this review will focus on recent advances in the understanding of both, causes and consequences of centrosome aberrations in hematological malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle
  • Centrosome / metabolism
  • Centrosome / pathology*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology*