A molecular analysis of centriole, centrosome and cilium assembly and function


  • Prof Jordan Raff

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Centrioles organise the assembly of two important eukaryotic cell organelles: the centrosome and the cilium. Centrosomes are the major microtubule-organising centres in many animal cells, and play an important role in cell division, in establishing and maintaining cell polarity, and in positioning and transporting molecules and organelles within the cell. Most cells in the human body form a single, immotile, primary cilium, which can play a vital role in cell signalling and in mechano- and chemo-sensation. There is increasing evidence linking the dysfunction of centrosomes and cilia to a plethora of human diseases, including cancer, kidney disorders, obesity and macular degeneration. Using Drosophila as a model organism, Professor Raff aims to understand how centrioles, centrosomes and cilia assemble and function at the molecular level, the main challenge being to understand how these proteins interact and how their assembly is regulated.