What Is the Function of a Centriole?

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A centriole is a small cylindrical organelle in animal cells that employs materials to form centrosomes and cilia, the projections of the cells that are responsible for the body’s movement and sensory functions. During cell division, the centriole is specifically arranged to aid the processes of mitosis and meiosis. A centriole remains in close proximity with another to form a pair (centrosome).

During mitosis, paired centrosome are set apart forming independent centrosomes. As the original centriole splits, the pairs are divided such that one centriole is positioned in each of the newly formed microtubule. Each centriole consists of nine microtubule triplets set in cylindrical shape. The microtubules branch out in clusters in the shape of a star referred to as asters. The asters in turn move to opposite ends of the cell and organize themselves in a spindle to span the cell. They later form the lead for chromosome alignment during cell division.

The function of a centriole is to act as a springboard on which other structures of the cell can be assembled. In this regard, the absence of centrioles in a cell does not expressly prevent mitosis. However, diseases like Meckel syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome and oral-facial digital syndrome are attributed to protein deficiencies in the centriole.