Centrosomes

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Centrosomes are the major microtubule organising centre in animal cells (they are lacking in plant cells). The centrosome controls the number, location and orientation of microtubules in cells. In animal cells specifically, the centrosome organises an array of microtubules that spreads outwards through the cytoplasm, forming part of the cell cytoskeleton.  

The centrosome consists of a pair of centrioles, surrounded by a matrix of proteins. The matrix of the centrosome itself contains many ring shaped structures that are all formed by one type of tubulin, y-tubulin. Each single y-tubulin ring complex serves as the starting point for the growth of one microtubule. 

Centrosomes also play a key role in cell division as they provide the microtubules that form the mitotic spindle and allow cell division to take place[1]

References

  1. Alberts,B., Bray,D., Hopkin K., Johnson,A., Lewis,J., Raff,M., Roberts,K., Walter, P (2014). Essential Cell Biology. 4th ed. United States of America: Garland Science. p571-573.
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