Drosophila Ana2 is a conserved centriole duplication factor.
Stevens NR., Dobbelaere J., Brunk K., Franz A., Raff JW.
In Caenorhabditis elegans, five proteins are required for centriole duplication: SPD-2, ZYG-1, SAS-5, SAS-6, and SAS-4. Functional orthologues of all but SAS-5 have been found in other species. In Drosophila melanogaster and humans, Sak/Plk4, DSas-6/hSas-6, and DSas-4/CPAP-orthologues of ZYG-1, SAS-6, and SAS-4, respectively-are required for centriole duplication. Strikingly, all three fly proteins can induce the de novo formation of centriole-like structures when overexpressed in unfertilized eggs. Here, we find that of eight candidate duplication factors identified in cultured fly cells, only two, Ana2 and Asterless (Asl), share this ability. Asl is now known to be essential for centriole duplication in flies, but no equivalent protein has been found in worms. We show that Ana2 is the likely functional orthologue of SAS-5 and that it is also related to the vertebrate STIL/SIL protein family that has been linked to microcephaly in humans. We propose that members of the SAS-5/Ana2/STIL family of proteins are key conserved components of the centriole duplication machinery.