Duplication and cellular functions of Drosophila centrioles


  • Prof David Glover

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

A wide range of diseases and inherited abnormalities are associated with the malfunctioning of centrioles, the nine-fold symmetrical structures that lie at the core of centrosomes. Centrosomes organise a network of microtubules that serve as railway tracks to move various cargos around the non-dividing cell and to partition chromosomes between the cell as it divides. Centrioles also become the templates for building cilia and flagella, outgrowths from the cell that provide motility and act as signalling antennae. In the majority of proliferating cells, it is important that there are only two centrosomes per cell and that they have correctly inherited each cellular generation. 

This study aims to understand the mechanism whereby duplication of the centriole is precisely controlled and synchronised with cell division and how the newly duplicated centriole becomes competent to duplicate and nucleate cellular microtubules. We will also address the poorly understood properties of centrosomes. We will examine their ability to organise membranous vesicles that effectively form the digestion and defence system of the cell. We will also look at the way they interact with the cell's outer membrane to orchestrate formation of the signalling antennae.