Centriole shape and orientation

Dennis Goode goode at ZOOL.UMD.EDU
Mon Nov 11 17:48:02 EST 1996

>"Nigel Dyer" <nigel.dyer at luke1017.demon.co.uk
>wrote on the
>Subject:       Centriole shape and orientation
>Date:          Sat, 09 Nov 1996 00:15:59 GMT

>For some time now I have been intrigued by the 'T' formation of the
>Centriole.  As an engineer the shape strikes me as being very significant,
>and yet I can find no discussion in papers etc as to why it might be that

>orientation of the 'T'.  I recognise that such experiments would be
>technically very difficult but has any work been done to investigate the
>orientation with respect to each other of the replicated centriole pairs
>during cell division.  I have not managed to discover any evidence of
>research in this area.  Has the orientation of the centriole when cells are
>not undergoing cell division been investigated?

>On page 819 of 'Molecular Biology of the Cell' by Bruce Alberts et al a
>pair of newly replicated centrioles are shown with their 'T's in a  "--|
>|-" orientation.  Is this accidental or is it always like this?  If it is
>always like this immediately after replication how long is this orientation

Yes the orientation appears to be very significant and maintained (or 
altered) to determine the planes of division during development.

Some papers and a Book, starting with a classic;

Costello, D.P. (1961) On the orientation of centrioles in dividing 
cells and its significance..Biol Bull.120: 285-312.

Wheatley, D.N. (1982) The Centriole. Elsevier Press

Glover, et al. The Centrosome. Sci. Amer.June 1993 p.62-68.

I'm sure much remains to be learned about how and why centrioles 
replicate with an orthogonal (I-) orientation, so it is a good 


Dr. M. Dennis Goode                 Phone (301) 405-6917
Department of Zoology               Fax   (301) 314-9358
University of Maryland              e-mail goode at zool.umd.edu
College Park MD 20742
"If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking upon the 
creation, I should have recommended something simpler."
            -Alphonso X of Castile, 15th Century

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