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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2012;28:59-87. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-092910-154010. Epub 2012 May 11.

Driving the cell cycle through metabolism.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9038, USA.


For unicellular organisms, the decision to enter the cell cycle can be viewed most fundamentally as a metabolic problem. A cell must assess its nutritional and metabolic status to ensure it can synthesize sufficient biomass to produce a new daughter cell. The cell must then direct the appropriate metabolic outputs to ensure completion of the division process. Herein, we discuss the changes in metabolism that accompany entry to, and exit from, the cell cycle for the unicellular eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Studies of budding yeast under continuous, slow-growth conditions have provided insights into the essence of these metabolic changes at unprecedented temporal resolution. Some of these mechanisms by which cell growth and proliferation are coordinated with metabolism are likely to be conserved in multicellular organisms. An improved understanding of the metabolic basis of cell cycle control promises to reveal fundamental principles governing tumorigenesis, metazoan development, niche expansion, and many additional aspects of cell and organismal growth control.

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