Sequential Protein Recruitment in C. elegans Centriole Formation
Formation of the microtubule-based centriole is a poorly understood process that is crucial for duplication of the centrosome, the principal microtubule-organizing center of animal cells . Five proteins have been identified as being essential for centriole formation in Caenorhabditis elegans: the kinase ZYG-1, as well as the coiled-coil proteins SAS-4, SAS-5, SAS-6, and SPD-2 . The relationship between these proteins is incompletely understood, limiting understanding of how they contribute to centriole formation. In this study, we established the order in which these five proteins are recruited to centrioles, and we conducted molecular epistasis experiments expanding on earlier work. We find that SPD-2 is loaded first and is needed for the centriolar localization of the four other proteins. ZYG-1 recruitment is required thereafter for the remaining three proteins to localize to centrioles. SAS-5 and SAS-6 are recruited next and are needed for the presence of SAS-4, which is incorporated last. Our results indicate in addition that the presence of SAS-5 and SAS-6 allows diminution of centriolar ZYG-1. Moreover, astral microtubules appear dispensable for the centriolar recruitment of all five proteins. Several of these proteins have homologs in other metazoans, and we expect the assembly pathway that stems from our work to be conserved.