Cell Biology

Centrosomes and Cytokinesis

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Science  20 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5516, pp. 401
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5516.401b

The centrosomes are tiny organelles within animal cells that are responsible for arranging the microtubule network. They are particularly obvious during cell division when they help to form the poles of the mitotic spindle. Previously, Khodjakov et al. showed that bipolar spindles still formed after the centrosomes had been destroyed by laser microsurgery at an early stage of mitosis. Khodjakov and Rieder now find that, although the removal of the centrosomes did not prevent the completion of mitosis, cytokinesis (the actual separation of the two resulting daughter cells) often was disrupted. When only one centrosome was destroyed, the acentrosomal daughter cell failed to enter S phase and did not replicate its DNA (see also Hinchcliffe et al. and Piel et al., Reports, 23 Feb., p. 1547 and p. 1550). Thus, the centrosome is more important for completing cell division and enabling future cell divisions than it is for generating and maintaining the mitotic spindle. — SMH

J. Cell Biol.153, 237 (2001).

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