Drosophila Spd-2 recruits PCM to the sperm centriole, but is dispensable for centriole duplication

Curr Biol. 2007 Oct 23;17(20):1759-64. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.08.065. Epub 2007 Oct 4.


In C. elegans, genome-wide screens have identified just five essential centriole-duplication factors: SPD-2, ZYG-1, SAS-5, SAS-6, and SAS-4 [1-8]. These proteins are widely believed to comprise a conserved core duplication module [3, 9-14]. In worm embryos, SPD-2 is the most upstream component of this module, and it is also essential for pericentriolar material (PCM) recruitment to the centrioles [1, 4, 15, 16]. Here, we show that Drosophila Spd-2 (DSpd-2) is a component of both the centrioles and the PCM and has a role in recruiting PCM to the centrioles. DSpd-2 appears not, however, to be essential for centriole duplication in somatic cells. Moreover, PCM recruitment in DSpd-2 mutant somatic cells is only partially compromised, and mitosis appears unperturbed. In contrast, DSpd-2 is essential for proper PCM recruitment to the fertilizing sperm centriole, and hence for microtubule nucleation and pronuclear fusion. DSpd-2 therefore appears to have a particularly important role in recruiting PCM to the sperm centriole. We speculate that the SPD-2 family of proteins might only be absolutely essential for the recruitment of centriole duplication factors and PCM to the centriole(s) that enter the egg with the fertilizing sperm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Centrioles / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / ultrastructure
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Fertilization / physiology
  • Male
  • Meiosis / physiology
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*
  • Spermatozoa / ultrastructure


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • SPD-2 protein, C elegans