The centrosome, consisting of mother and daughter centrioles surrounded by the pericentriolar matrix (PCM), functions primarily as a microtubule organizing center (MTOC) in most animal cells. In dividing cells the centrosome duplicates once per cell cycle and its number and structure are highly regulated during each cell cycle to organize an effective bipolar spindle in the mitotic phase. Defects in the regulation of centrosome duplication lead to a variety of human diseases, including cancer, through abnormal cell division and inappropriate chromosome segregation. At the end of mitosis the daughter centriole disengages from the mother centriole. This centriole disengagement is an important licensing step for centrosome duplication. In S phase, one new daughter centriole forms perpendicular to each centriole. The centrosome recruits further PCM proteins in the late G2 phase and the two centrosomes separate at mitotic entry to form a bipolar spindle. Here, we summarize research findings in the field of centrosome biology, focusing on the mechanisms of regulation of the centrosome cycle in human cells.
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