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Dev Cell. 2004 Apr;6(4):511-23.

Centrosome maturation and duplication in C. elegans require the coiled-coil protein SPD-2.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Centrosomes are major determinants of mitotic spindle structure, but the mechanisms regulating their behavior remain poorly understood. The spd-2 gene of C. elegans is required for centrosome assembly or "maturation." Here we show that spd-2 encodes a coiled-coil protein that localizes within pericentriolar material (PCM) and in the immediate vicinity of centrioles. During maturation, SPD-2 gradually accumulates at the centrosome in a manner that is partially dependent on Aurora-A kinase and cytoplasmic dynein. Interestingly, SPD-2 interacts genetically with dynein heavy chain and SPD-5, another coiled-coil protein required for centrosome maturation. SPD-2 and SPD-5 are codependent for localization to the PCM, but SPD-2 localizes to centrioles independently of SPD-5. Surprisingly, we also find that SPD-2 is required for centrosome duplication and genetically interacts with ZYG-1, a kinase required for duplication. Thus, we have identified SPD-2 as a factor critical for the two basic functions of the centrosome-microtubule organization and duplication.

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