The centrosome and spindle as a ribonucleoprotein complex

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2011-01-03
Authors
Alliegro, Mark C.
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Centrosome
Spindle
Centrosomal RNA
Nucleolinus
Centriole
Cell division
Abstract
The presence of nucleic acids in centrosomes and the spindle have been proposed, observed, and reported since the 1950s. Why did the subject remain, perhaps even until today, such a controversial issue? The explanation is manifold, and includes legitimate concern over contamination from other cellular compartments in biochemical preparations. With a typically high background of cytoplasmic ribosomes, even microscopic images of stained intact cells could be difficult to interpret. Also, evidence for RNA and DNA in centrosomes accumulated for approximately 40 years but was interspersed with contradictory studies, primarily regarding the presence of DNA (reviewed in Johnson and Rosenbaum, 1991; Marshall and Rosenbaum, 2000). Perhaps less tangible but still a likely cause for lingering controversy is that the presence of nucleic acids in the spindle or centrosomes will require us to look differently at these structures from a functional, and more to the point, evolutionary standpoint.
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Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2011. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Springer for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Chromosome Research 19 (2011): 367-376, doi:10.1007/s10577-011-9186-7.
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