Transcriptional regulation and function during the human cell cycle

Nat Genet. 2001 Jan;27(1):48-54. doi: 10.1038/83751.


We report here the transcriptional profiling of the cell cycle on a genome-wide scale in human fibroblasts. We identified approximately 700 genes that display transcriptional fluctuation with a periodicity consistent with that of the cell cycle. Systematic analysis of these genes revealed functional organization within groups of coregulated transcripts. A diverse set of cytoskeletal reorganization genes exhibit cell-cycle-dependent regulation, indicating that biological pathways are redirected for the execution of cell division. Many genes involved in cell motility and remodeling of the extracellular matrix are expressed predominantly in M phase, indicating a mechanism for balancing proliferative and invasive cellular behavior. Transcripts upregulated during S phase displayed extensive overlap with genes induced by DNA damage; cell-cycle-regulated transcripts may therefore constitute coherent programs used in response to external stimuli. Our data also provide clues to biological function for hundreds of previously uncharacterized human genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle / radiation effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Division / radiation effects
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • DNA Damage / genetics
  • DNA Damage / radiation effects
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate / pharmacology
  • Mitosis / drug effects
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Mitosis / radiation effects
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • S Phase / drug effects
  • S Phase / genetics
  • S Phase / radiation effects
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate