Centriolar satellites are numerous electron-dense granules dispersed around the centrosome. Mutations in their components are linked to various human diseases, but their molecular roles remain elusive. In particular, the significance of spatial communication between centriolar satellites and the centrosome is unknown. hMsd1/SSX2IP localizes to both the centrosome and centriolar satellites and is required for tethering microtubules to the centrosome. Here we show that hMsd1/SSX2IP-mediated microtubule anchoring is essential for proper centriole assembly and duplication. On hMsd1/SSX2IP knockdown, the centriolar satellites become stuck at the microtubule minus end near the centrosome. Intriguingly, these satellites contain many proteins that normally localize to the centrosome. Of importance, microtubule structures, albeit not being anchored properly, are still required for the emergence of abnormal satellites, as complete microtubule depolymerization results in the disappearance of these aggregates from the vicinity of the centrosome. We highlighted, using superresolution and electron microscopy, that under these conditions, centriole structures are faulty. Remarkably, these cells are insensitive to Plk4 overproduction-induced ectopic centriole formation, yet they accelerate centrosome reduplication upon hydroxyurea arrest. Finally, the appearance of satellite aggregates is cancer cell specific. Together our findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of centriole assembly and microtubule anchoring.
© 2015 Hori et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).