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Bioessays. 2002 Dec;24(12):1095-109.

The dynamics of cell cycle regulation.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg 24061, USA.


Major events of the cell cycle--DNA synthesis, mitosis and cell division-are regulated by a complex network of protein interactions that control the activities of cyclin-dependent kinases. The network can be modeled by a set of nonlinear differential equations and its behavior predicted by numerical simulation. Computer simulations are necessary for detailed quantitative comparisons between theory and experiment, but they give little insight into the qualitative dynamics of the control system and how molecular interactions determine the fundamental physiological properties of cell replication. To that end, bifurcation diagrams are a useful analytical tool, providing new views of the dynamical organization of the cell cycle, the role of checkpoints in assuring the integrity of the genome, and the abnormal regulation of cell cycle events in mutants. These claims are demonstrated by an analysis of cell cycle regulation in fission yeast.

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