Centrosomes are major microtubule-organizing centers of animal cells that consist of two centrioles. In mitotic cells, centrosomes are duplicated to serve as the poles of the mitotic spindle, while in quiescent cells, centrosomes move to the apical membrane where the oldest centriole is transformed into a basal body to assemble a primary cilium. We recently showed that mitochondrial outer membrane porin VDAC3 localizes to centrosomes where it negatively regulates ciliogenesis. We show here that the other two family members, VDAC1 and VDAC2, best known for their function in mitochondrial bioenergetics, are also found at centrosomes. Like VDAC3, centrosomal VDAC1 is predominantly localized to the mother centriole, while VDAC2 localizes to centriolar satellites in a microtubule-dependent manner. Down-regulation of VDAC1 leads to inappropriate ciliogenesis, while its overexpression suppresses cilia formation, suggesting that VDAC1 and VDAC3 both negatively regulate ciliogenesis. However, this negative effect on ciliogenesis is not shared by VDAC2, which instead appears to promote maturation of primary cilia. Moreover, because overexpression of VDAC3 cannot compensate for depletion of VDAC1, our data suggest that while the entire VDAC family localizes to centrosomes, they have non-redundant functions in cilogenesis.
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