Drosophila PLP forms centriolar-clouds that promote centriole stability, cohesion and MT nucleation
Roque H., Pratt M., Johnson E., Raff J.
Pericentrin is a conserved centrosomal protein whose dysfunction has been linked to several human diseases. The precise function of Pericentrin, however, is controversial. Here, we examine Drosophila Pericentrin-like-protein (PLP) function in vivo, in tissues that form both centrosomes and cilia. PLP mutant centrioles exhibit four major defects: (1) They are too short and have subtle structural defects; (2) They separate prematurely, and so overduplicate; (3) They organise fewer MTs during interphase; (4) They fail to establish and/or maintain a proper connection to the plasma membrane, although, surprisingly, mutant centrioles can still form an axoneme and recruit transition zone (TZ) proteins. We show that PLP helps to form pericentriolar clouds of electron-dense material that emanate from the central cartwheel spokes and spread outward to surround the mother centriole. The partial loss of these structures may explain the complex centriole, centrosome and cilium defects we observe in PLP mutant cells.