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Curr Biol. 2007 Oct 23;17(20):1735-45. Epub 2007 Oct 11.

Asterless is a centriolar protein required for centrosome function and embryo development in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Cell Biology and Biophysics Programme, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Centrosomes, the major organizers of the microtubule network in most animal cells, are composed of centrioles embedded in a web of pericentriolar material (PCM). Recruitment and stabilization of PCM on the centrosome is a centriole-dependent function. Compared to the considerable number of PCM proteins known, the molecular characterization of centrioles is still very limited. Only a few centriolar proteins have been identified so far in Drosophila, most related to centriole duplication.

RESULTS:

We have cloned asterless (asl) and found that it encodes a 120 kD highly coiled-coil protein that is a constitutive pancentriolar and basal body component. Loss of asl function impedes the stabilization/maintenance of PCM at the centrosome. In embryos deficient for Asl, development is arrested right after fertilization. Asl shares significant homology with Cep 152, a protein described as a component of the human centrosome for which no functional data is yet available.

CONCLUSIONS:

The cloning of asl offers new insight into the molecular composition of Drosophila centrioles and a possible model for the role of its human homolog. In addition, the phenotype of asl-deficient flies reveals that a functional centrosome is required for Drosophila embryo development.

PMID:
17935995
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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