Centrosomes are the main microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) of animal cells. Centrosomes consist of a pair of centrioles, surrounded by pericentriolar material (PCM). Centrioles replicate semi-conservatively; the old ‘mother’ centriole serves as a template for the generation of a young ‘daughter’ centriole, both of which go on to reform the PCM cloud and generate a new centrosome after separating.
Centrosomes are intrinsically asymmetric and we are investigating how centrosomes acquire their unique molecular identity and whether and how centrosomes provide instructive cues to influence cell fate decisions.
To this end, we are using 3D-Structured Illumination Microscopy (3D-SIM), which has approximately twice the spatial resolution of standard confocal microscopy, as well as live cell imaging, genetic and optogenetic approaches.