Asymmetric cell division during animal development

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Jan;2(1):11-20. doi: 10.1038/35048085.


Although most cells produce two equal daughters during mitosis, some can divide asymmetrically by segregating protein determinants into one of their two daughter cells. Interesting parallels exist between such asymmetric divisions and the polarity established in epithelial cells, and heterotrimeric G proteins might connect these aspects of cell polarity. The discovery of asymmetrically segregating proteins in vertebrates indicates that the results obtained in invertebrate model organisms might also apply to mammalian stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cell Polarity
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Helminth Proteins / physiology
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Insect Proteins / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Stem Cells / cytology


  • Helminth Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins