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Cell. 1994 Feb 25;76(4):639-50.

Pericentrin, a highly conserved centrosome protein involved in microtubule organization.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California Medical School, San Francisco 94143.


Antisera from scleroderma patients that react widely with centrosomes in plants and animals were used to isolate cDNAs encoding a novel centrosomal protein. The nucleotide sequence is consistent with a 7 kb mRNA and contains an open reading frame encoding a protein with a putative large coiled-coil domain flanked by noncoiled ends. Antisera recognize a 220 kd protein and stain centrosomes and acentriolar microtubule-organizing centers, where the protein is localized to the pericentriolar material (hence, the name pericentrin). Anti-pericentrin antibodies disrupt mitotic and meiotic divisions in vivo and block microtubule aster formation in Xenopus extracts, but do not block gamma-tubulin assembly or microtubule nucleation from mature centrosomes. These results suggest that pericentrin is a conserved integral component of the filamentous matrix of the centrosome involved in the initial establishment of organized microtubule arrays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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