The Function of Microtubule Organizing Centers

The microtubule organizing center (MTOC) is responsible for the initiation of microtubule organization in the meiotic and mitotic spindles. In humans, as in most other mammalian species, the oocyte MTOCs disappear after fertilization, and the sperm-derived centriole forms the basis for de novo development of the embryonic MTOC (25,26). If the oocyte is fertilized by a spermatozoon with a functionally abnormal centriole, microtubule organization is impaired and the function of the meiotic and mitotic spindles is defective (27,28). This functional abnormality can be revealed by a hetero-logous ICSI test using bovine oocytes and cytochemical visualization of microtubuli in newly formed asters with the use of antibodies against acetylated- and p-tubulins (28).

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