The cellular mechanisms used to generate sufficient microtubule polymer mass to drive the assembly and function of the mitotic spindle remain a matter of great interest. As the primary microtubule nucleating structures in somatic animal cells, centrosomes have been assumed to figure prominently in spindle assembly. At the onset of mitosis, centrosomes undergo a dramatic increase in size and microtubule nucleating capacity, termed maturation, which is likely a key event in mitotic spindle formation. Interestingly, however, spindles can still form in the absence of centrosomes calling into question the specific mitotic role of these organelles. Recent work has shown that the human centrosomal protein, Cep192, is required for both centrosome maturation and spindle assembly thus providing a molecular link between these two processes. In this article, we propose that Cep192 does so by forming a scaffolding on which proteins involved in microtubule nucleation are sequestered and become active in mitotic cells. Normally, this activity is largely confined to centrosomes but in their absence continues to function but is dispersed to other sites within the cell.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology