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noun, plural: centrosomes

(cell biology) The organelle located near the nucleus in the cytoplasm that divides and migrates to opposite poles of the cell during mitosis, and is involved in the formation of mitotic spindle, assembly of microtubules, and regulation of cell cycle progression; the region pertaining to the organelle.


It was discovered in 1888 by Theodor Boyeri describing it as a special organ of cell division.

Centrosomes in animals are the main microtubule organizing center (MTOC), and contain two orthogonally arranged centrioles surrounded by an amorphous mass of pericentriolar material.

Word origin: From Latin centrum and Greek kentron, center + Greek, soma, body.

Related forms: centrosomic (adjective).

See also: centriole, nucleus, mitosis.