In cell biology a centriole is a cylindrical organelle composed mainly of a protein called tubulin. Centrioles are found in most eukaryotic cells. A bound pair of centrioles, surrounded by a shapeless mass of dense material, called the pericentriolar material (PCM), makes up a structure called a centrosome.
Centrioles are present in the cells of most eukaryotes, for example those of animals. However, they are absent from conifers (pinophyta), flowering plants (angiosperms) and most fungi, and are only present in the male gametes of charophytes, bryophytes, seedless vascular plants, cycads, and ginkgo.
Centrioles are typically made up of nine sets of short microtubule triplets, arranged in a cylinder. Deviations from this structure include crabs and Drosophila melanogaster embryos, with nine doublets, and Caenorhabditis elegans sperm cells and early embryos, with nine singlets.
Edouard van Beneden made the first observation of centrosomes in 1883. In 1895, Theodor Boveri named the organelle a "centrosome". The pattern of centriole duplication was first worked out independently by Etienne de Harven and Joseph G. Gall c. 1950.
Role in cell division
Centrioles are involved in the organization of the mitotic spindle and in the completion of cytokinesis. Centrioles were previously thought to be required for the formation of a mitotic spindle in animal cells. However, more recent experiments have demonstrated that cells whose centrioles have been removed via laser ablation can still progress through the G1 stage of interphase before centrioles can be synthesized later in a de novo fashion. Additionally, mutant flies lacking centrioles develop normally, although the adult flies' cells lack flagella and cilia and as a result, they die shortly after birth. The centrioles can self replicate during cell division.
Centrioles are a very important part of centrosomes, which are involved in organizing microtubules in the cytoplasm. The position of the centriole determines the position of the nucleus and plays a crucial role in the spatial arrangement of the cell.
In flagellates and ciliates, the position of the flagellum or cilium is determined by the mother centriole, which becomes the basal body. An inability of cells to use centrioles to make functional flagella and cilia has been linked to a number of genetic and developmental diseases. In particular, the inability of centrioles to properly migrate prior to ciliary assembly has recently been linked to Meckel-Gruber syndrome.
Proper orientation of cilia via centriole positioning toward the posterior of embryonic node cells is critical for establishing left–right asymmetry during mammalian development.
Before DNA replication, cells contain two centrioles. The older of the two centrioles is termed the mother centriole, the other the daughter. During the cell division cycle, a new centriole grows at the proximal end of both mother and daughter centrioles. After duplication, the two centriole pairs (freshly assembled centriole is now a daughter centriole in each pair) will remain attached to each other orthogonally until mitosis. At that point the mother and daughter centrioles separate dependently on an enzyme called separase.
The two centrioles in the centrosome are tied to one another. The mother centriole has radiating appendages at the distal end of its long axis and is attached to its daughter at the proximal end. Each daughter cell formed after cell division will inherit one of these pairs. Centrioles start duplicating when DNA replicates.
The last common ancestor of all eukaryotes was a ciliated cell with centrioles. Some lineages of eukaryotes, such as land plants, do not have centrioles except in their motile male gametes. Centrioles are completely absent from all cells of conifers and flowering plants, which do not have ciliate or flagellate gametes. It is unclear if the last common ancestor had one or two cilia. Important genes required for centriole growth, like centrins, are only found in eukaryotes and not in bacteria or archaeans.
Etymology and pronunciation
Typical centrioles are made of 9 triplets of microtubules organized with radial symmetry. Centrioles can vary the number of microtubules and can be made of 9 doublets of microtubules (as in Drosophila melanogaster) or 9 singlets of microtubules as in C. elegans. Atypical centrioles are centrioles that do not have microtubules, such as the Proximal Centriole-Like found in D. melanogaster sperm, or that have microtubules with no radial symmetry, such as in the distal centriole of human spermatozoon.
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