Towards a molecular architecture of centriole assembly

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Jun 13;13(7):425-35. doi: 10.1038/nrm3373.


The centriole is an evolutionarily conserved macromolecular structure that is crucial for the formation of flagella, cilia and centrosomes. The ultrastructure of the centriole was first characterized decades ago with the advent of electron microscopy, revealing a striking ninefold radial arrangement of microtubules. However, it is only recently that the molecular mechanisms governing centriole assembly have begun to emerge, including the elucidation of the crucial role of spindle assembly abnormal 6 (SAS-6) proteins in imparting the ninefold symmetry. These advances have brought the field to an exciting era in which architecture meets function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Centrioles / physiology*
  • Centrosome / physiology
  • Cilia / metabolism
  • Flagella / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron / methods
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Protein Conformation


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • SAS-6 protein, C elegans