A role for a novel centrosome cycle in asymmetric cell division

Department of Biology and 2Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
The Journal of Cell Biology (Impact Factor: 9.69). 04/2007; 177(1):13-20. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200612140
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Tissue stem cells play a key role in tissue maintenance. Drosophila melanogaster central brain neuroblasts are excellent models for stem cell asymmetric division. Earlier work showed that their mitotic spindle orientation is established before spindle formation. We investigated the mechanism by which this occurs, revealing a novel centrosome cycle. In interphase, the two centrioles separate, but only one is active, retaining pericentriolar material and forming a "dominant centrosome." This centrosome acts as a microtubule organizing center (MTOC) and remains stationary, forming one pole of the future spindle. The second centriole is inactive and moves to the opposite side of the cell before being activated as a centrosome/MTOC. This is accompanied by asymmetric localization of Polo kinase, a key centrosome regulator. Disruption of centrosomes disrupts the high fidelity of asymmetric division. We propose a two-step mechanism to ensure faithful spindle positioning: the novel centrosome cycle produces a single interphase MTOC, coarsely aligning the spindle, and spindle-cortex interactions refine this alignment.

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