de novo formation of centrosomes

A big question in cell biology has been if centrioles can be formed de novo or they required a template. A recent paper in Science from the Glover's and Bettencourt-Dias's labs addressed this controversy.

Revisiting the Role of the Mother Centriole in Centriole Biogenesis
A. Rodrigues-Martins, M. Riparbelli, G. Callaini, D. M. Glover, M. Bettencourt-Dias
Science 316 (5827), 1046-50 (18 May 2007)

In Drosophila, the unfertilized egg does not contain centrioles since they are ejected during oocyte formation. Thus, the centrioles are provided by the sperm after fertilization. What the authors found in this study was that overexpression of SAK/PLK4 induced an abnormal number of centrioles in the eggs, even in unfertilized eggs. So, de novo formation of centrioles can occur and it is triggered by SAK kinase.

Interestingly the authors went further on their study and identified downstream players. SAK homolog in C. Elegans is Zyg-1 which has been shown to be involved in centriole formation in a SAS-5 and SAS-6-dependent manner. The authors showed that the same players act downstream of SAK in the formation of centrioles in the Drosophila egg.

I wounder what happen if SAK is expressed in plant cells since these cells don't have centrioles!
Also, It would be cool to rescue flies without centrioles, by overexpression of SAK...

note: this work was also commented in the daily transcript


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These experiments indicated that the isolated centrioles from sea urchin spermatozoa can induce aster formation and cleavage in the fish.

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