Human SFI1 and Centrin form a complex critical for centriole architecture and ciliogenesis

EMBO J. 2022 Nov 2;41(21):e112107. doi: 10.15252/embj.2022112107. Epub 2022 Sep 20.


Over the course of evolution, the centrosome function has been conserved in most eukaryotes, but its core architecture has evolved differently in some clades, with the presence of centrioles in humans and a spindle pole body (SPB) in yeast. Similarly, the composition of these two core elements has diverged, with the exception of Centrin and SFI1, which form a complex in yeast to initiate SPB duplication. However, it remains unclear whether this complex exists at centrioles and whether its function has been conserved. Here, using expansion microscopy, we demonstrate that human SFI1 is a centriolar protein that associates with a pool of Centrin at the distal end of the centriole. We also find that both proteins are recruited early during procentriole assembly and that depletion of SFI1 results in the loss of the distal pool of Centrin, without altering centriole duplication. Instead, we show that SFI1/Centrin complex is essential for centriolar architecture, CEP164 distribution, and CP110 removal during ciliogenesis. Together, our work reveals a conserved SFI1/Centrin module displaying divergent functions between mammals and yeast.

Keywords: centrioles; centrosome; ciliogenesis; expansion microscopy; human cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins* / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins* / metabolism
  • Centrioles* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Spindle Pole Bodies / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Sfi1 protein, human
  • SFI1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • CETN1 protein, human
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins