In embryos of most animal species, the zygotic centrosome is assembled by the centriole derived from the sperm cell and pericentriolar proteins present in the oocyte. This zygotic centrosome acts as a microtubule organizing center (MTOC) to assemble the sperm aster and mitotic spindle. As MTOC formation has been studied mainly in adult cells, very little is known about the formation of the zygotic MTOC. Here, we show that zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos lacking either maternal or paternal Cfap53, a centriolar satellite protein, arrest during the first cell cycle. Although Cfap53 is dispensable for sperm aster function, it aids proper formation of the mitotic spindle. During cell division, Cfap53 colocalizes with γ-tubulin and with other centrosomal and centriolar satellite proteins at the MTOC. Furthermore, we find that γ-tubulin localization at the MTOC is impaired in the absence of Cfap53. Based on these results, we propose a model in which Cfap53 deposited in the oocyte and the sperm participates in the organization of the zygotic MTOC to allow mitotic spindle formation.
- Microtubule-Organizing Center/metabolism