Taking a Look at Centriolar Satellites

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Centriolar satellites are small, spherical granules with a diameter of approximately 70 – 100nm and can be visualized as electron dense spheres by electron microscopy or as small punctate structures by fluorescence microscopy. The name centriolar satellite is probably derived from the fact that they predominantly accumulate in close proximity of the centrosomes {Balczon:1994vi, Kubo:1999tt, Kubo:2003vk, Dammermann:2002fv}. Centriolar satellites were first detected in studies to the ultrastructure of the centrosome using electron microscopy however, until the mid 90’s centriolar satellites did not receive much attention. The centrosome in mammalian cells is perhaps best known for its capabilities of nucleating microtubules and its function as the microtubule organization center (MTOC). It has however clearly been established that the centrosome is implicated in many cellular processes that extend far beyond its role as MTOC. The centrosome is able to act as a multiplatform protein scaffold for numerous signaling networks and has been shown to be functionally implicated in processes such as cell cycle progression, polarity, migration, mitosis and ciliogenesis. In contrast to centriolar satellites, the centrosome is a relatively well-studied cellular organelle with a well defined structure. The centrosome consists of a mother and daughter centriole, which can be visualized by electron microscopy as two perpendicularly organized barrel shaped

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