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Cell Div. 2011 Apr 14;6:9. doi: 10.1186/1747-1028-6-9.

Centriole assembly and the role of Mps1: defensible or dispensable?

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University, 484 W, 12th Avenue, Columbus OH 43210-1292, USA. fisk.13@osu.edu.


The Mps1 protein kinase is an intriguing and controversial player in centriole assembly. Originally shown to control duplication of the budding yeast spindle pole body, Mps1 is present in eukaryotes from yeast to humans, the nematode C. elegans being a notable exception, and has also been shown to regulate the spindle checkpoint and an increasing number of cellular functions relating to genomic stability. While its function in the spindle checkpoint appears to be both universally conserved and essential in most organisms, conservation of its originally described function in spindle pole duplication has proven controversial, and it is less clear whether Mps1 is essential for centrosome duplication outside of budding yeast. Recent studies of Mps1 have identified at least two distinct functions for Mps1 in centriole assembly, while simultaneously supporting the notion that Mps1 is dispensable for the process. However, the fact that at least one centrosomal substrate of Mps1 is conserved from yeast to humans down to the phosphorylation site, combined with evidence demonstrating the exquisite control exerted over centrosomal Mps1 levels suggest that the notion of being essential may not be the most important of distinctions.

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