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In C. elegans, genome-wide screens have identified just five essential centriole-duplication factors: SPD-2, ZYG-1, SAS-5, SAS-6, and SAS-4 [1-8]. These proteins are widely believed to comprise a conserved core duplication module [3, 9-14]. In worm embryos, SPD-2 is the most upstream component of this module, and it is also essential for pericentriolar material (PCM) recruitment to the centrioles [1, 4, 15, 16]. Here, we show that Drosophila Spd-2 (DSpd-2) is a component of both the centrioles and the PCM and has a role in recruiting PCM to the centrioles. DSpd-2 appears not, however, to be essential for centriole duplication in somatic cells. Moreover, PCM recruitment in DSpd-2 mutant somatic cells is only partially compromised, and mitosis appears unperturbed. In contrast, DSpd-2 is essential for proper PCM recruitment to the fertilizing sperm centriole, and hence for microtubule nucleation and pronuclear fusion. DSpd-2 therefore appears to have a particularly important role in recruiting PCM to the sperm centriole. We speculate that the SPD-2 family of proteins might only be absolutely essential for the recruitment of centriole duplication factors and PCM to the centriole(s) that enter the egg with the fertilizing sperm.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.cub.2007.08.065

Type

Journal article

Journal

Curr Biol

Publication Date

23/10/2007

Volume

17

Pages

1759 - 1764

Keywords

Animals, Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins, Centrioles, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Fertilization, Male, Meiosis, Mitosis, Spermatozoa