I realize that centrioles are made of 9 triplets of microtubulin wound together with a hollow core, and that they are responsible for the configuration of the spindle during mitosis. The spindle fibers attach to the kinetochores of the sister chromatids and pull, ultimately separating them in preparation for cytokinesis.

How do the centrioles recognize where to go in the cell, such that they are oppositely positioned with one another? Is the mechanism similar to how neurons "find their way" during development to forge the correct connections that give us sight, etc, but on a subcellular scale?


1 Answer 1


During cell-division centrioles move towards opposite 'poles' and finally get attached to cell-membrane. Different factors influence & drives this process, most still not discovered. So this mechanism is largely unknown. From the scientific literatures published on this matter till recently we can say that this process should include:

  1. A structure along which the centrioles can migrate,
  2. Molecules associated with the movement of centrioles,
  3. Signal molecules triggering this process,
  4. Signal molecules determining the direction of migration.

To answer 1., Microtubules form a intra & inter-cellular network along which subcellular structures can move. Actin & Myosin are also involved in some cells. For reference read Ganong's review of Medical Physiology. (the example you stated in your question about neurons is a substantially different process. But neurotransmitters are carried with the help of Microtubules. Chromosomal structures also are arranged with the help of them.)

For points 2,3 & 4 read this paper, these parts are very clearly described there.

Thank you.


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