Structural and Molecular Mechanisms of Centrosome Assembly and Strength




Rios, Manolo Uriel

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Content Notes


The outermost layer of centrosomes, called pericentriolar material (PCM), organizes microtubules for mitotic spindle assembly. The molecular interactions that enable PCM to assemble and resist external forces are poorly understood. To answer such question, we use cross-linking mass spectrometry (XL-MS) to analyze PLK-1-potentiated multimerization of SPD-5, the main PCM scaffold protein in C. elegans. In the unassembled state, SPD-5 exhibits numerous intramolecular interactions that are eliminated after phosphorylation by PLK-1. Thus, phosphorylation induces a structural opening of SPD-5 that primes it for assembly. Multimerization of SPD-5 is driven by interactions between multiple dispersed coiled-coil domains. Structural analyses of a phosphorylated region (PReM) in SPD-5 revealed a helical hairpin that dimerizes to form a tetrameric coiled-coil. Mutations within this structure and other interacting regions cause PCM assembly defects that are partly rescued by eliminating microtubule-mediated forces, revealing that PCM assembly and strength are interdependent. We propose that PCM size and strength emerge from specific, multivalent coiled-coil interactions between SPD-5 proteins.

General Notes

Table of Contents


Related URI