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Cell. 2003 Feb 21;112(4):575-87.

SAS-4 is a C. elegans centriolar protein that controls centrosome size.

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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


Centrosomes consist of a centriole pair surrounded by pericentriolar material (PCM). Previous work suggested that centrioles are required to organize PCM to form a structurally stable organelle. Here, we characterize SAS-4, a centriole component in Caenorhabditis elegans. Like tubulin, SAS-4 is incorporated into centrioles during their duplication and remains stably associated thereafter. In the absence of SAS-4, centriole duplication fails. Partial depletion of SAS-4 results in structurally defective centrioles that contain reduced levels of SAS-4 and organize proportionally less PCM. Thus, SAS-4 is a centriole-associated component whose amount dictates centrosome size. These results provide novel insight into the poorly understood role of centrioles as centrosomal organizers.

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