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Nat Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;5(6):539-44.

Centrosome number is controlled by a centrosome-intrinsic block to reduplication.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA.


The centrosome duplicates once in S phase. To determine whether there is a block in centrosome reduplication, we used a cell fusion assay to compare the duplication potential of unduplicated G1 centrosomes and recently duplicated G2 centrosomes. By fusing cells in different cell cycle stages, we found that G2 centrosomes were unable to reduplicate in a cellular environment that supports centrosome duplication. Furthermore, G2 cytoplasm did not inhibit centrosome duplication in fused cells, indicating that the block to reduplication is intrinsic to the centrosomes rather than the cytoplasm. To test the underlying mechanism, we created mononucleate G1 cells with two centrosomes by fusing cells with enucleated cytoplasts. Both centrosomes duplicated, indicating that the block is not controlled by centrosome:nucleus ratio. We also found that human primary cells have tight control over centrosome number during prolonged S-phase arrest and that this control is partially abrogated in transformed cells. This suggests a link between the control of centrosome duplication and maintenance of genomic stability.

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