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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 May;8(5):368-78.

Cell cycle regulation in the postmitotic neuron: oxymoron or new biology?

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Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


Adult CNS neurons are typically described as permanently postmitotic but there is probably nothing permanent about the neuronal cell cycle arrest. Rather, it appears that these highly differentiated cells must constantly keep their cell cycle in check. Relaxation of this vigilance leads to the initiation of a cell cycle and entrance into an altered and vulnerable state, often leading to death. There is evidence that neurons which are at risk of neurodegeneration are also at risk of re-initiating a cell cycle process that involves the expression of cell cycle proteins and DNA replication. Failure of cell cycle regulation might be a root cause of several neurodegenerative disorders and a final common pathway for others.

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