Biology » Cell Reproduction » Control of the Cell Cycle

Summarizing Control of the Cell Cycle

Summary

Each step of the cell cycle is monitored by internal controls called checkpoints. There are three major checkpoints in the cell cycle: one near the end of G1, a second at the G2/M transition, and the third during metaphase. Positive regulator molecules allow the cell cycle to advance to the next stage. Negative regulator molecules monitor cellular conditions and can halt the cycle until specific requirements are met.

Glossary

cell cycle checkpoint

mechanism that monitors the preparedness of a eukaryotic cell to advance through the various cell cycle stages

cyclin

one of a group of proteins that act in conjunction with cyclin-dependent kinases to help regulate the cell cycle by phosphorylating key proteins; the concentrations of cyclins fluctuate throughout the cell cycle

cyclin-dependent kinase

one of a group of protein kinases that helps to regulate the cell cycle when bound to cyclin; it functions to phosphorylate other proteins that are either activated or inactivated by phosphorylation

p21

cell cycle regulatory protein that inhibits the cell cycle; its levels are controlled by p53

p53

cell cycle regulatory protein that regulates cell growth and monitors DNA damage; it halts the progression of the cell cycle in cases of DNA damage and may induce apoptosis

retinoblastoma protein (Rb)

regulatory molecule that exhibits negative effects on the cell cycle by interacting with a transcription factor (E2F)

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