The centrosome is responsible for nucleating microtubules and performing other cellular roles. To define the organization of the centrosome more completely, a human anti-centrosome serum was used to screen a human cDNA library, and a cDNA encoding a >350 kDa centrosome protein was identified. Sequence analyses revealed that this novel centrosome protein contains two coiled-coil domains bounded by non-coiled regions. The N-terminal region of the protein, named pericentrin-B, shares 61% identity (75% similarity) with pericentrin, suggesting an evolutionary relationship between these proteins. Antibodies against pericentrin-B stain centrosomes at all stages of the cell cycle, and pericentrin-B remains associated with centrosomes following microtubule depolymerization. Immunodepletion of neither pericentrin-B nor PCM-1 from cellular extracts inhibited the ability of salt-stripped centrosomes to recover microtubule nucleation potential, demonstrating that neither protein plays a key role in microtubule nucleation processes. Moreover, the binding of both PCM-1 and pericentrin-B with salt-stripped centrosomes required intact microtubules, demonstrating that the association of PCM-1 and pericentrin-B with centrosomes is a late event in the centrosome maturation process. Finally, pericentrin-B and PCM-1 coimmunoprecipitate, suggesting that PCM-1 and pericentrin-B form a functional complex in cells. This observation may help to explain the generation of anti-centrosome autoantibodies in certain autoimmune patients and may be important for centrosome function.
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