UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Aneuploidy; Animals; Antigens; COS Cells; Centrosome; Chromosome Segregation; Cytoplasm; Dynein ATPase; Fluorescent Antibody Technique; Golgi Apparatus; Kinetochores; Mice; Microtubule-Associated Proteins; Mitosis; Mitotic Spindle Apparatus; Molecular Motor Proteins; Molecular Weight; Precipitin Tests; Protein Binding; Transfection


Cell Biology


Pericentrin is a conserved protein of the centrosome involved in microtubule organization. To better understand pericentrin function, we overexpressed the protein in somatic cells and assayed for changes in the composition and function of mitotic spindles and spindle poles. Spindles in pericentrin-overexpressing cells were disorganized and mispositioned, and chromosomes were misaligned and missegregated during cell division, giving rise to aneuploid cells. We unexpectedly found that levels of the molecular motor cytoplasmic dynein were dramatically reduced at spindle poles. Cytoplasmic dynein was diminished at kinetochores also, and the dynein-mediated organization of the Golgi complex was disrupted. Dynein coimmunoprecipitated with overexpressed pericentrin, suggesting that the motor was sequestered in the cytoplasm and was prevented from associating with its cellular targets. Immunoprecipitation of endogenous pericentrin also pulled down cytoplasmic dynein in untransfected cells. To define the basis for this interaction, pericentrin was coexpressed with cytoplasmic dynein heavy (DHCs), intermediate (DICs), and light intermediate (LICs) chains, and the dynamitin and p150(Glued) subunits of dynactin. Only the LICs coimmunoprecipitated with pericentrin. These results provide the first physiological role for LIC, and they suggest that a pericentrin-dynein interaction in vivo contributes to the assembly, organization, and function of centrosomes and mitotic spindles.


J Cell Biol. 1999 Nov 1;147(3):481-92.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of cell biology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


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Cell Biology Commons