Centrosome Definition and Meaning
The concept of centrosome derives from a German word, in turn formed by the union of the Latin centrum (which can be translated as “center”) and the Greek sôma (“body”). It is an organelle of cells that is made up of a pair of perpendicular centrioles.
The origin of this term centrosome is in the XIX century. And it was at that time that two biologists specialized in the cellular world discovered that the cells they were studying had a structure in the center from which fibers emerged. Those scientists were none other than Boveri and Van Beneden. They continued to thoroughly analyze these structures and finally came to establish the need to give it the name centrosome.
To understand this definition, it is necessary to be clear about what certain notions refer to. The cells are the fundamental units of living beings capable of independent reproduction. These cells, in turn, have functional and structural units known as organelles. The centrioles, for their part, are made up of microtubules that enable the movement of cells and contribute to the organization of their cytoskeleton.
Ultimately, a centrosome is a cellular organelle that has two centrioles. Its most important function is associated with the movements carried out within the framework of the division of a cell.
The centrioles of the centrosome are surrounded by proteins, forming the so-called pericentriolar material. In the surroundings of the centrosome it is possible to detect various microtubules that give rise to an aster.
When a cell is in the process of dividing, the achromatic spindle has a centrosome with two centrioles at each end. Thus, when mitosis is complete, each of the daughter cells has a centrosome with its pair of centrioles. The separation of the centrioles in the previous phase is known as uncoupling and is essential for the development of the duplication that follows. Centrosomes, therefore, are key to cell motility.
Other important data to know about the centrosome are the following that we present to you:
-It performs functions such as cell division, cell polarity, cell motility, organization of the microtubule network, flagella production, intracellular transport and cilia production.
-Its main task, organization of the aforementioned microtubules, is carried out following these phases: decomposition of the centrioles, duplication of the centrosome, coupling of the centrioles, maturation of the centrosomes, separation of the centrosomes and formation of the so-called mitotic spindle.
-When an uncontrolled expression of the mentioned centrosomes occurs, what is called structural aberrations can take place.
-In the same way, in relation to the centrosome, we have to establish that, on other occasions, what is called numerical aberrations occurs.
-Microtubules are made up of different subunits of the protein that are called tubulin.
-The aforementioned biologist Boveri was the one who realized that centrosomes are commonly altered by cancer cells. This is how he discovered it at the end of the 19th century.