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Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Mar;24(3):188-97. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

Amorphous no more: subdiffraction view of the pericentriolar material architecture.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, HHMI and University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address: vito.mennella@ucsf.edu.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, HHMI and University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA; Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada; Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

The centrosome influences the shape, orientation and activity of the microtubule cytoskeleton. The pericentriolar material (PCM), determines this functionality by providing a dynamic platform for nucleating microtubules and acts as a nexus for molecular signaling. Although great strides have been made in understanding PCM activity, its diffraction-limited size and amorphous appearance on electron microscopy (EM) have limited analysis of its high-order organization. Here, we outline current knowledge of PCM architecture and assembly, emphasizing recent super-resolution imaging studies that revealed the PCM has a layered structure made of fibers and matrices conserved from flies to humans. Notably, these studies debunk the long-standing view of an amorphous PCM and provide a paradigm to dissect the supramolecular organization of organelles in cells.

KEYWORDS:

cell cycle; centrosomes; cilia; mitosis; pericentriolar material; super-resolution microscopy

PMID:
24268653
PMCID:
PMC3991556
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2013.10.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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