Nutrient regulation of cell cycle progression

Annu Rev Nutr. 2004;24:433-53. doi: 10.1146/annurev.nutr.23.011702.073203.


Cell replication is tightly controlled in normal tissues and aberrant during disease progression, such as in tumorigenesis. The replication of cells can be divided into four distinct phases: Gap 1 (G1), synthesis (S), gap 2 (G2), and mitosis (M). The progression from one phase to the next is intricately regulated and has many "checkpoints" that take into account cellular status and environmental cues. Among the modulators of cell cycle progression are specific nutrients, which function as energy sources or regulate the production and/or function of proteins needed to advance cells through a replicative cycle. In this review, we focus on the roles of specific nutrients (vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, zinc, and glucose) in the control of cell cycle progression and discuss how insights into the mechanisms by which these nutrients modulate this process can be and have been used to control aberrant cell growth in the treatment of prevalent pathologies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Diet*
  • Disease Progression
  • Folic Acid / physiology
  • Glucose / physiology
  • Humans
  • Iron / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Vitamin A / physiology
  • Vitamin B 12 / physiology
  • Vitamin D / physiology
  • Zinc / physiology


  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron
  • Glucose
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B 12