Cell cycle research has led to the identification of many molecules that drive and regulate the cell cycle. One important group are proteins called cyclins—so-named because concentrations rise and fall in a regular pattern during the cell cycle. This enables them to activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) whose activity is needed to propel cells through the cycle. Additional sub-units also regulate CDK activity, including cyclin-inhibitory proteins (CKIs).
Basic cell cycle control.
This complexity ensures cells have precise co-ordination of events that allow DNA duplication and subsequent cellular division. In addition, regulation guarantees maintenance of DNA fidelity and protects against a loss of genetic information. Basic cell cycle control is shown in the first figure.
Research has established many direct links between disruption of cell cycle control and cancer.
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