Centriole asymmetry determines algal cell geometry

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF, 600 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94158, United States. Electronic address: .
Current opinion in plant biology (Impact Factor: 7.85). 09/2012; 15(6). DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2012.09.011
Source: PubMed


The mechanisms that determine the shape and organization of cells remain largely unknown. Green algae such as Chlamydomonas provide excellent model systems for studying cell geometry owing to their highly reproducible cell organization. Structural and genetic studies suggest that asymmetry of the centriole (basal body) plays a critical determining role in organizing the internal organization of algal cells, through the attachment of microtubule rootlets and other large fiber systems to specific sets of microtubule triplets on the centriole. Thus to understand cell organization, it will be critical to understand how the different triplets of the centriole come to have distinct molecular identities.

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    • "Centrioles are barrel-shaped structures that, in human cells, are made up of triplet microtubules. The older of the two centrioles, often referred to as the 'mature' centriole, carries distal and subdistal appendages , and the two centrioles can be distinguished by staining for marker proteins [5] [6] [7] [8]. In most species, centriole biogenesis involves the early formation of a so-called cartwheel at the base of the nascent centriole [4]. "
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