Aurora-A kinase is required for centrosome maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Centrosomes mature as cells enter mitosis, accumulating gamma-tubulin and other pericentriolar material (PCM) components. This occurs concomitant with an increase in the number of centrosomally organized microtubules (MTs). Here, we use RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) to examine the role of the aurora-A kinase, AIR-1, during centrosome maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans. In air-1(RNAi) embryos, centrosomes separate normally, an event that occurs before maturation in C. elegans. After nuclear envelope breakdown, the separated centrosomes collapse together, and spindle assembly fails. In mitotic air-1(RNAi) embryos, centrosomal alpha-tubulin fluorescence intensity accumulates to only 40% of wild-type levels, suggesting a defect in the maturation process. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that AIR-1 is required for the increase in centrosomal gamma-tubulin and two other PCM components, ZYG-9 and CeGrip, as embryos enter mitosis. Furthermore, the AIR-1-dependent increase in centrosomal gamma-tubulin does not require MTs. These results suggest that aurora-A kinases are required to execute a MT-independent pathway for the recruitment of PCM during centrosome maturation.

publication date

  • December 24, 2001