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Schematic of centriole showing microtubule triplets
Three-dimensional view of a centriole

A centriole is a barrel-shaped cell structure[1] found in most animal eukaryotic cells, though absent in higher plants and most fungi.[2] The walls of each centriole are usually composed of nine triplets of microtubules (protein of the cytoskeleton). Deviations from this structure include Drosophila melanogaster embryos, with nine doublets, and Caenorhabditis elegans sperm cells and early embryos, with nine singlets.[3][4] An associated pair of centrioles, arranged perpendicularly and surrounded by an amorphous mass of dense material (the pericentriolar material) constitutes the compound structure known as the centrosome.[1]


Cell division

Centrioles are involved in the organization of the mitotic spindle and in the completion of cytokinesis. [5] Centrioles were previously thought to be required for the formation of a mitotic spindle in animal cells. However, more recent experiments have demonstrated that cells whose centrioles have been removed via laser ablation can still progress through the G1 stage of interphase before centrioles can be synthesized later in a de novo fashion .[6] Additionally, mutant flies lacking centrioles can develop almost normally, although the adult flies lack flagella and cilia, a lack that underscores the requirement of centrioles for the formation of these organelles (see below).[7]

Cellular organization

Centrioles are a very important part of centrosomes, which are involved in organizing microtubules in the cytoplasm.[8][9] The position of the centriole determines the position of the nucleus and plays a crucial role in the spatial arrangement of the cell. In order for cells to do this, cells must mate.


In organisms with flagella and cilia, the position of these organelles is determined by the mother centriole, which becomes the basal body. An inability of cells to use centrioles to make functional cilia and flagella has been linked to a number of genetic and developmental diseases. In particular, the inability of centrioles to properly migrate prior to ciliary assembly has recently been linked to Meckel-Gruber syndrome.

Animal development

Proper orientation of cilia via centriole positioning toward the posterior of embryonic node cells is critical for establishing left–right asymmetry during from the side of each of the existing "mother" centrioles. After centriole duplication, the two pairs of centrioles remain attached to each other in an orthogonal configuration until mitosis, when the mother and daughter centrioles separate in a manner dependent upon the enzyme separase.[10]

The two centrioles in the centrosome are connected to each other by unidentified proteins. The mother centriole has radiating appendages at the distal end of its long axis and is attached to the daughter centriole at the other proximal end. Each daughter cell formed after cell division will inherit one of these pairs (one older and one newer centriole). Duplication of centrioles starts at the time of the G1/S transition and ends before the onset of mitosis.[11]


  1. ^ a b Eddé B, Rossier J, Le Caer JP, Desbruyères E, Gros F, Denoulet P (January 1990). "Posttranslational glutamylation of alpha-tubulin". Science 247 (4bnmklllllllllllllll938): 83–5. doi:10.1126/science.1967194. PMID 1967194. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  2. ^ Quarmby LM, Parker JD (June 2005). "Cilia and the cell cycle?". The Journal of Cell Biology 169 (5): 707–710. doi:10.1083/jcb.200503053. PMID 15928206. PMC 2171619. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  3. ^ Delattre M, Gönczy P (April 2004). "The arithmetic of centrosome biogenesis". Journal of Cell Science 117 (Pt 9): 1619–1630. doi:10.1242/jcs.01128. PMID 15075224. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  4. ^ Leidel S, Delattre M, Cerutti L, Baumer K, Gönczy P (February 2005). "SAS-6 defines a protein family required for centrosome duplication in C. elegans and in human cells". Nature Cell Biology 7 (2): 115–25. doi:10.1038/ncb1220. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  5. ^ name Salisbury cite journal |author Salisbury JL, Suino KM, Busby R, Springett M |title=Centrin-2 is required for centriole duplication in mammalian cells |journal=Current Biology |volume=12 |issue=15 |pages=1287–1292 |year=2002 |month=August |pmid=12176356 |url= |accessdate=2008-07-08 |doi=10.1016/S0960-9822(02)01019-9}}
  6. ^ La Terra S, English CN, Hergert P, McEwen BF, Sluder G, Khodjakov A (February 2005). "The de novo centriole assembly pathway in HeLa cells: cell cycle progression and centriole assembly/maturation". The Journal of Cell Biology 168 (5): 713–722. doi:10.1083/jcb.200411126. PMID 15738265. PMC 2171814. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  7. ^ Basto R, Lau J, Vinogradova T, et al. (June 2006). "Flies without centrioles". Cell 125 (7): 1375–1386. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.05.025. PMID 16814722. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  8. ^ Feldman JL, Geimer S, Marshall WF (June 2007). "The mother centriole plays an instructive role in defining cell geometry". PLoS Biology 5 (6): e149. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050149. PMID 17518519. PMC 1872036. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  9. ^ Beisson J, Wright M (February 2003). "Basal body/centriole assembly and continuity". Current Opinion in Cell Biology 15 (1): 96–104. doi:10.1016/S0955-0674(02)00017-0. PMID 12517710. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  10. ^ Tsou MF, Stearns T (August 2006). "Mechanism limiting centrosome duplication to once per cell cycle". Nature 442 (7105): 947–51. doi:10.1038/nature04985. PMID 16862117. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  11. ^ Salisbury JL, Suino KM, Busby R, Springett M (August 2002). "Centrin-2 is required for centriole duplication in mammalian cells so centrioles really do nothing". Current Biology 12 (15): 1287–1292. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(02)01019-9. PMID 12176356. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 

Simple English

[[File:|thumb]] [[File:|thumb|Three-dimensional view of a centriole]] The centriole is a cytoplasmic structure in most eukaryote cells. It is involved in cell division and in the formation of cilia and flagella. Centrioles are not found in vascular plants and in most fungi.[1]

A pair of centrioles, arranged parallelly and surrounded by a mass of dense material constitutes the compound structure known as the centrosome.[2]


  1. Quarmby LM & Parker JD (2005). "Cilia and the cell cycle?". The Journal of Cell Biology 169: 707–710. doi:10.1083/jcb.200503053. PMID 15928206. PMC 2171619. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  2. Eddé B, Rossier J, Le Caer JP, Desbruyères E, Gros F, Denoulet P (1990). "Posttranslational glutamylation of alpha-tubulin". Science 247 (4938): 83–85. doi:10.1126/science.1967194. PMID 1967194. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 


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