The centriole is a cell organelle which is found in most of the eukaryotic cells of animals. The cells of plants and also that of fungi don't contain this cell organelle. It has a barrel-shaped structure that is formed of microtubules. The set of 9 triplets of these microtubules is lined along walls of cells. Length of these microtubules varies from 200 nanometer to 25 micrometers; diameter of microtubules on the other hand is 25 nm. The centrioles are arranged at right angles to each other and covered by pericentriolar material, an amorphous material. The microtubules are structural components of cytoskeleton. It is because of these microtubules that the cytoskeleton attains a definite shape. Cellular organization is therefore, an important function of centrioles. Let us have a look at the various functions carried out by centrioles through following paragraphs.
The main centrioles function in animal cells is completion of the process of cytokinesis. Mitotic spindle organization is also amongst other functions. According to earlier beliefs, presence of centrioles was mandatory for the process of spindle formation during mitosis. However, the studies conducted later on, made it clear that spindle formation could take place even without the centrioles. The cells from which centrioles were removed by means of laser ablation too were able to transit into the G1 interphase stage. Thus, it was concluded that centrioles just provided assistance in the process.
Spatial Cell Arrangement: The spatial arrangement of cell is influenced by centrioles. This is because, position of nucleus is determined by the centriole position. The nucleus position in turn plays an important role in spatial arrangement of the cell. This centriole function is therefore, important from the point of cellular arrangement.
Cilia Orientation: Centriole plays an important role in the orientation of cilia. One of the function include orientation of cilia. The proper orientation of cilia can be achieved by positioning of centriole towards embryonic node cell posterior. This proper orientation prove to be helpful in mammalian development from the point of left-right symmetry.
The information presented above should present an idea of the various functions carried out by centrioles. The facts enlisted in this article should clarify that instead of participating directly in a particular function of a cell, the centriole merely supports the activity. It provides a setting or probably acts as a jig to allow the functions to be carried out smoothly. The indirect participation of centrioles in a particular cell function doesn't make it less significant.
The centrioles don't have any well-defined functions other than those mentioned above. The use of these cell organelles in the process of mitosis too is not very significant. One should be able to understand what is the function of centrioles in animal cells through information presented above.