The Cell Cycle, Cytoskeleton and Cancer

  • Irina S. FonsecaEmail author
  • Mónica Bettencourt-DiasEmail author
Part of the Learning Materials in Biosciences book series (LMB)


This chapter is focused in the basics of the cell cycle and its deregulation in cancer. We begin this chapter by giving an historical perspective on the discovery of key component of the cell cycle, the cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) and the concept of checkpoints. The eukaryotic cell cycle will be reviewed, starting with a brief description of the cell cycle phases, the main cell cycle regulators, the cyclins and CDKs, and how they control the cell cycle. Next, we discuss the cell cycle checkpoints and DNA repair mechanisms. Later, we describe the cell cycle in cancer, and how tumor cells take advantage of cellular protective mechanisms to become malignant, focusing on the concept of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes related to cell cycle progression. Finally, we focus on a particular structure, the centrosome, which is the major microtubule-organizing center in animal cells, and how its deregulation can promote tumorigenesis. We conclude this chapter by discussing therapeutic targets that are being used to eradicate cancer cells having abnormal centrosomes.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Gulbenkian CiênciaOeirasPortugal

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