The Cell Cycle

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Information about The Cell Cycle

Published on October 23, 2008

Author: catherinepatterson



An overview of the Cell Cycle - for use in the high school classroom

The Cell Cycle Cell Growth And Division

The Cell Cycle is required for cell growth and cell division into two new daughter cells. Just like any whole organism, cells go through a kind of life cycle called the Cell Cycle . The diagram shows the four parts of the cycle.

The Cell Cycle is an ordered set of events. The G1 phase stands for “GAP-1” and is required for cell growth and preparation of DNA synthesis. The S -phase stands for “Synthesis” and replicates the DNA (genome). G1 S

The Cell Cycle is an ordered set of events.

The G1 phase stands for “GAP-1” and is required for cell growth and preparation of DNA synthesis.

The S -phase stands for “Synthesis” and replicates the DNA (genome).

The G2 phase is “GAP-2” and is needed for cell growth and preparation for mitosis. The last phase is M. It stands for “Mitosis” where cells separate duplicated chromosomes M G2

In the G1 Phase, the cell is doing its everyday job, regardless of what type of cell it is. At this time the chromosomes each have just one molecule of DNA. Chromosomes with one strand of DNA are called unduplicated or unreplicated chromosomes.

Gap 1 Phase begins at the end of mitosis and cytokinesis and lasts until the beginning of S phase. It is the longest of the four cell cycle phases and varies in length. During G1 Phase the cell grows and chooses to replicate its DNA or to exit the cell cycle and enter a quiescent state (the G0 phase). GO Gap 1

Control of the Cell Cycle During the G1 and G2 phases, cells grow and make sure that conditions are proper for DNA replication and cell division. During the G1 phase, cells monitor their environment and determine if conditions, including the availability of nutrients, growth factors and hormones, justify DNA replication. The decision to begin replication is made at a specific "checkpoint" in G1 called the "restriction point."

If, prior to the restriction point, cells sense inadequate growth conditions or receive negative signals from other cells, they enter G0 (G-zero) phase, also called quiescence. (quiet time) In the G0 phase, they are maintained for prolonged periods in a nondividing state.

A eukaryotic cell cannot divide unless it replicates its DNA (genome) and then separates the duplicated DNA. To do this cells must perform DNA synthesis and mitosis .

In the S Phase, the DNA replicates or duplicates. The chromosomes that result have two molecules of DNA and are called duplicated or replicated chromosomes.

The S phase (DNA synthesis phase), typically lasts about 6 hours. In mammalian cells, the start of S phase (when DNA synthesis begins) takes place several hours after the cell has committed to carrying out DNA synthesis.

In G2 Phase, the cell is carrying out processes necessary for mitosis to begin. The portion of Interphase that follows S phase is called Gap 2 Phase. Some cells can exit the cell cycle from G2 phase, just as they can from G1 phase.

The G2/M DNA damage checkpoint keeps the cell from entering mitosis (M-phase) with genomic DNA damage.

The G2 phase is shorter than G1, but also has important controls for the completion of DNA replication to prepare the cell for mitosis. Some conditions cause cells to enter the G0 phase, others trigger apoptosis*. One thing that triggers apoptosis is when a cell's DNA has undergone significant damage. *Disintegration of cells into membrane-bound particles that are then eliminated by phagocytosis or by shedding.

Mitosis is the stage of the cell's life cycle when the cell's DNA gets divided into two separate nucleii, just before cell division.

Prophase Prometaphase Metaphase Anaphase Telophase

Cytoplasmic Division: As part of cell division the cytoplasm often is often divided between the daughter cells being produced.

Daughter cells. The result of mitosis plus division of the cytoplasm usually results in two genetically identical daughter cells. Both daughter cells are each smaller than the original parent cell and have unduplicated chromosomes.

The daughter cells begin to grow, until they reach the proper size and age to begin the process over again This growth stage is where we started – G1

Catherine Patterson 2008

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