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Cell. 1989 May 19;57(4):611-9.

Centrosomes, and not nuclei, initiate pole cell formation in Drosophila embryos.

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Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, England.


An injection of aphidicolin into early Drosophila embryos inhibits DNA synthesis and nuclear division, while centrosome replication and many other aspects of the mitotic cycle continue. If aphidicolin is injected at nuclear cycle 7-8, the normal migration of nuclei to the embryo cortex is completely inhibited. In most of these embryos, however, centrosomes continue to migrate in a coordinated manner to the cortex, where they reorganize tubulin, actin, and the overlying plasma membrane. Remarkably, the centrosomes that migrate to the posterior pole of such embryos initiate pole cell formation in the absence of nuclei. These observations demonstrate that centrosomes alone are able to direct a major reorganization of the cortical cytoskeleton when they arrive at the surface of the embryo. They also suggest that the coordinated movement of nuclei to the embryo cortex is mediated by forces acting on the centrosome rather than on the nucleus itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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