All organisms must control their cell division. Unicellular organisms have to coordinate nuclear division, cytokinesis (cell separation) and DNA synthesis so that the correct order of events is maintained (1, 2). In addition, the cell cycle must be coordinated with nutrient availability and differentiation into the meiotic, or sexual, cycle. Multicellular organisms, such as humans, also have to maintain the correct order of events within the cell cycle, and must, in addition, regulate the growth and division of different tissues so that uncontrolled proliferation does not lead to tumorigenesis (3, 4). This complex task of controlling the timing of cell proliferation in response to both external stimuli and internal status is not yet fully understood. The study of cell cycle controls in a number of experimental systems has led to the discovery that much of the basic machinery underlying control of the cell cycle has been conserved in all eukaryotic organisms (5). In this chapter, I will attempt to describe these fundamental mechanisms that control the cell cycle, and to relate them to the etiology of cancer development.
KeywordsTyrosine Serine Polypeptide Beach Retinoblastoma
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