Control of the cell cycle, Biology

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The cell cycle is controlled by a cyclically operating set of reaction sequences that both trigger and coordinate key events in the cell cycle

• The cell-cycle control system is driven by a built-in clock that can be adjusted by external stimuli (chemical message).

• Checkpoint - a critical control point in the cell cycle where stop and go-ahead signals can regulate the cell cycle
o Animal cells have built-in stop signals that halt the cell cycles and checkpoints until overridden by go-ahead signals.
o Three Major checkpoints are found in the G1, G2, and M phases of the cell cycle.

• The G1 checkpoint - the Restriction Point
o The G1 checkpoint ensures that the cell is large enough to divide, and that enough nutrients are available to support the resulting daughter cells.
o If a cell receives a go-ahead signal at the G1 checkpoint, it will usually continue with the cell cycle
o If the cell does not receive the go-ahead signal, it will exit the cell cycle and switch to a non-dividing state called G0
o Actually, most cells in the human body are in the G0 phase.

• The G2 checkpoint ensures that DNA replication in S phase has been completed successfully.
• The metaphase checkpoint ensures that all of the chromosomes are attached to the mitotic spindle by a kinetochore. 


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