Independence of centriole formation and initiation of DNA synthesis in Chinese hamster ovary cells

Ryoko Kuriyama, Santanu Dasgupta, Gary G. Borisy

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25 Scopus citations


The relationship between centriole formation and DNA synthesis was investigated by examining the effect of taxol on the centriole cycle and the initiation of DNA synthesis in synchronized cells. The centriole cycle was monitored by electron microscopy of whole‐mount preparations [Kuriyama and Borisy, J. Cell Biol., 1981, 91:814–821]. A short daughter centriole appeared in perpendicular orientation to each parent during late G1 or early S and elongated slowly during S to G2. Addition of 5–20 μg/ml taxol to a synchronous population of cells in S phase did not inhibit centriole elongation; rather, elongation was accelerated. In contrast, when taxol was added to M phase or early G1 cells, centriole duplication was completely inhibited. The taxol block was reversible since nucleation and elongation of centrioles resumed as soon as the drug was removed. Cells exposed to taxol progressed through the cell cycle and became blocked in mitosis, as indicated by an increase in the mitotic index, but eventually the mitotic arrest was overcome, resulting in formation of multinucleated cells. A peak in mitotic index was seen in the following generation, indicating that chromosomes duplicated in the presence of taxol. Incorporation of 3H‐thymidine followed by autoradiography confirmed that DNA synthesis was initiated in the presence of taxol even though formation of daughter centrioles was inhibited. It seems, therefore, that centriole duplication is not a prerequisite for entry into S phase. Since DNA synthesis has already been demonstrated not to be necessary for centriole duplication, these two events, normally coordinated in time, appear to be independent of each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1986


  • Chinese hamster ovary cells
  • DNA synthesis
  • cell cycle
  • centriole
  • taxol


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