No centrioles? No problem!

The centrosome scaffolding protein forms foci at the ciliary base of sensory neurons in the head and tail of the nematode worm C. elegans. Unlike centrosomes in the germline and early embryo, those PCM accumulations are not built around the core organizing structure of the centrioles. (c) Adapted from Garbrecht, Laos et al., Curr Biol 2021

The centrosome scaffolding protein forms foci at the ciliary base of sensory neurons in the head and tail of the nematode worm C. elegans. Unlike centrosomes in the germline and early embryo, those PCM accumulations are not built around the core organizing structure of the centrioles. (c) Adapted from Garbrecht, Laos et al., Curr Biol 2021

Centrioles are surrounded by a dense meshwork of proteins called the pericentriolar material (PCM), which together form centrosomes, the main microtubule-organizing centers of the cell. Alexander Dammermann’s group has discovered that centrosomes persist without centrioles in post-mitotic neurons of C. elegans. Key components of the PCM are expressed and incorporated into these centrosomes independent of centrioles and known mitotic regulators. The study, published in Current Biology, suggests that the assembly and maintenance of mitotic and non-mitotic centrosomes may be different.

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