Centrosome

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In cell biology, the centrosome is an organelle that serves as the main microtubule organizing center (MTOC) of the animal cell as well as a regulator of cell-cycle progression. It was discovered by Edouard Van Beneden in 1883 [1] and was described and named in 1888 by Theodor Boveri.[2] The centrosome is thought to have evolved only in the metazoan lineage of eukaryotic cells.[3] Fungi and plants use other MTOC structures to organize their microtubules.[4][5] Although the centrosome has a key role in efficient mitosis in animal cells, it is not necessary.[6]

Centrosomes are composed of two orthogonally arranged centrioles surrounded by an amorphous mass of protein termed the pericentriolar material (PCM). The PCM contains proteins responsible for microtubule nucleation and anchoring[7] including γ-tubulin, pericentrin and ninein. In general, each centriole of the centrosome is based on a nine triplet microtubule assembled in a cartwheel structure, and contains centrin, cenexin and tektin.[8]

Contents

Roles of the centrosome

Centrosomes are often associated with the nuclear membrane during interphase of the cell cycle. In mitosis the nuclear membrane breaks down and the centrosome nucleated microtubules can interact with the chromosomes to build the mitotic spindle.

The mother centriole, the one that was inherited from the mother cell, also has a central role in making cilia and flagella.[8]

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