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Genes Dev. 2009 Dec 1;23(23):2675-99. doi: 10.1101/gad.1850809.

Dividing cellular asymmetry: asymmetric cell division and its implications for stem cells and cancer.

Author information

1
Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), 1030 Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Cell division is commonly thought to involve the equal distribution of cellular components into the two daughter cells. During many cell divisions, however, proteins, membrane compartments, organelles, or even DNA are asymmetrically distributed between the two daughter cells. Here, we review the various types of asymmetries that have been described in yeast and in animal cells. Asymmetric segregation of protein determinants is particularly relevant for stem cell biology. We summarize the relevance of asymmetric cell divisions in various stem cell systems and discuss why defects in asymmetric cell division can lead to the formation of tumors.

PMID:
19952104
PMCID:
PMC2788323
DOI:
10.1101/gad.1850809
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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