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Science. 1995 Nov 10;270(5238):983-5.

Uncoupling cell fate determination from patterned cell division in the Drosophila eye.

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Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Charlestown 02129, USA.


Cell proliferation and cell fate specification are under strict spatiotemporal control in the developing Drosophila eye. Cells excluded from five-cell preclusters synchronously enter a single additional cell cycle, the second mitotic wave, after which the remaining cells are sequentially recruited. When the second mitotic wave was blocked with the human cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21CIP1/WAF1, each cell type was still specified. Hence, cell fate determination is regulated independently of the division pattern of precursor cells. However, the second mitotic wave is needed to generate appropriate numbers of each cell type. Moreover, p21 can arrest precursor cell proliferation and allow appropriate fate choice in vivo.

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