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Trends Cell Biol. 2015 Dec;25(12):760-768. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2015.08.008. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

How Cells Measure Length on Subcellular Scales.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, University of California San Francisco, 600 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. Electronic address: Wallace.marshall@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Cells are not just amorphous bags of enzymes, but precise and complex machines. With any machine, it is important that the parts be of the right size, yet our understanding of the mechanisms that control size of cellular structures remains at a rudimentary level in most cases. One problem with studying size control is that many cellular organelles have complex 3D structures that make their size hard to measure. Here we focus on linear structures within cells, for which the problem of size control reduces to the problem of length control. We compare and contrast potential mechanisms for length control to understand how cells solve simple geometry problems.

KEYWORDS:

cytoskeleton; gradients; limiting precursor; molecular rulers; organelle dynamics; organelle size

PMID:
26437596
PMCID:
PMC4663131
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2015.08.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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