Controlling centrosome number: licenses and blocks

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Feb;18(1):74-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2005 Dec 19.


Centrosomes organize microtubule structures in animal cells. The centrosome duplicates once per cell cycle in most dividing cells via a pathway that relies on a pre-existing centrosome. The molecular mechanism of this 'once and only once' control is not understood, and recent results show that centrosomes can also be assembled by a de novo pathway that bypasses this control. These results require a rethinking of how proper centrosome number is maintained. We propose that the engagement of centrioles with each other normally blocks centrosome re-duplication, and that disengagement of centrioles from each other at the end of mitosis licenses them for duplication in the subsequent cell cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle
  • Centrosome / chemistry*
  • Centrosome / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 / physiology*
  • Cyclins / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*


  • Cyclins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • nucleophosmin
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2