Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The centrioles are aligned at 90 degree with each other. What is the function of this?

share|improve this question
Do you have any preliminary ideas? Also, if your question is a homework question it should be tagged accordingly. – fileunderwater Sep 2 '13 at 15:52
I have some preliminary idea about cell division but I don't understand the use of centrioles being aligned as such. – biogirl Sep 2 '13 at 15:55
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As far as I know, the function is not truly known, although there are some seriously interesting guesses. Part of the problem seems, from scanning the literature, to be that it's not easy or obvious to disrupt centriole orientation. This paper in PLoS Biology presents some really interesting results, in particular two piece of evidence:

  1. Centriole orientation, to some degree, is dictated by the "mother" centriole during centriole division and is thus passed on from cell to (daughter) cell.
  2. Defects in centriole orientation can result in organelle localization defects in the cell (e.g. nuclear orientation), and at least some of these defects are genetic.

So it seems that orientation is, in some part, a product simply of centriole division, but that there are some gene products that do help determine orientation and localization. This paper puts forth the hypothesis that centriole orientation determines the axis of cell division which can affect embryo orientation, whereas this suggests that external environmental factors could translate into altered centriole, and therefore cellular, orientation.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.