Centriolar satellites: key mediators of centrosome functions

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Jan;72(1):11-23. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1711-3. Epub 2014 Aug 31.


Centriolar satellites are small, microscopically visible granules that cluster around centrosomes. These structures, which contain numerous proteins directly involved in centrosome maintenance, ciliogenesis, and neurogenesis, have traditionally been viewed as vehicles for protein trafficking towards the centrosome. However, the recent identification of several new centriolar satellite components suggests that this model offers only an incomplete picture of their cellular functions. While the mechanisms controlling centriolar satellite status and function are not yet understood in detail, emerging evidence points to these structures as important hubs for dynamic, multi-faceted regulation in response to a variety of cues. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the roles of centriolar satellites in regulating centrosome functions, ciliogenesis, and neurogenesis. We also highlight newly discovered regulatory mechanisms targeting centriolar satellites and their functional status, and we discuss how defects in centriolar satellite components are intimately linked to a wide spectrum of human diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Centrioles / metabolism*
  • Centrosome / physiology*
  • Cilia / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*