Tuesday, May 29, 2007

cancer and the cell cycle

Last Friday I came to the Max Planck Instute for Cell Biology, at the other side of Dresden, to attend a series of seminars including one from a colleague and friend of mine, Babis Hatzikirou, about the cell cycle.

The classical view on the cell cycle can be seen in this picture that I took from Babis's presentation (and which I suspect he took from somewhere else :)):
This is quite interesting although not precisely research news. Most of the cell cycle is of course devoted to interphase and only a minority of the time (assuming that the cell is not in arrest mode) is devoted to create a copy of itself (through mitosis and cytokinesis). The cell cycle is controlled by a finely tuned balance of proteins cdc2-cdc13 and a number of checkpoints make sure that before changing the phase of the cell cycle everything is in order. These checkpoints and their associated proteins (such as the famous TP53) are quite critical to prevent tumour formation as they impede the growth of cells that need DNA repair.
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