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J Cell Sci. 2002 May 1;115(Pt 9):1825-35.

CEP110 and ninein are located in a specific domain of the centrosome associated with centrosome maturation.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


The mammalian centrosome consists of a pair of centrioles surrounded by pericentriolar material (PCM). The architecture and composition of the centrosome, especially the PCM, changes during the cell cycle. Recently, a subset of PCM proteins have been shown to be arranged in a tubular conformation with an open and a closed end within the centrosome. The presence of such a specific configuration can be used as a landmark for mapping proteins in both a spatial and a temporal fashion. Such mapping studies can provide information about centrosome organization, protein dynamics, protein-protein interactions as well as protein function. In this study, the centrosomal proteins CEP110 and ninein were mapped in relationship to the tubular configuration. Both proteins were found to exhibit a similar distribution pattern. In the mother centrosome, they were found at both ends of the centrosome tube, including the site of centrosome duplication. However, in the daughter centrosome they were present only at the closed end. At the closed end of the mother and daughter centrosome tube, both CEP110 and ninein co-localized with the centriolar protein CEP250/c-Nap1, which confirms ninein's centriole association and places CEP110 in association with this structure. Importantly, the appearance of CEP110 and ninein at the open end of the daughter centrosome occurred during the telophase-G1 transition of the next cell cycle, concomitant with the maturation of the daughter centrosome into a mother centrosome. Microinjection of antibodies against either CEP110 or ninein into metaphase HeLa cells disrupted the reformation of the tubular conformation of proteins within the centrosome following cell division and consequently led to dispersal of centrosomal material throughout the cytosol. Further, microinjection of antibodies to either CEP110 or ninein into metaphase PtK2 cells not only disrupted the tubular configuration within the centrosome but also affected the centrosome's ability to function as a microtubule organizing center (MTOC). This MTOC function was also disrupted when the antibodies were injected into postmitotic cells. Taken together, our results indicate that: (1) a population of CEP110 and ninein is located in a specific domain within the centrosome, which corresponds to the open end of the centrosome tube and is the site of protein addition associated with maturation of a daughter centrosome into a mother centrosome; and (2) the addition of CEP110 and ninein are essential for the reformation of specific aspects of the interphase centrosome architecture following mitosis as well as being required for the centrosome to function as a MTOC.

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