Centrosomes comprise two cylindrical centrioles embedded in the pericentriolar material (PCM). The PCM is an ordered assembly of large scaffolding molecules, providing an interaction platform for proteins involved in signalling, trafficking and most importantly microtubule nucleation and organization. In mitotic cells, centrosomes are located at the spindle poles, sites where spindle microtubules converge. However, certain cell types and organisms lack centrosomes, yet contain focused spindle poles, highlighting that despite their juxtaposition in cells, centrosomes and mitotic spindle poles are distinct physical entities. In the present paper, we discuss the origin of centrosomes and summarize their contribution to mitotic spindle assembly and cell division. We then describe the key molecular players that mediate centrosome attachment to mitotic spindle poles and explore why co-segregation of centrosomes and spindle poles into daughter cells is of potential benefit to organisms.

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